Donna Deegan describes state homeless camping ban as ‘unfunded mandate’ for Jacksonville that frustrates stakeholders

'I don't love the idea of a tent city.'

Jacksonville’s Mayor recognizes the impact on municipalities that unhoused people create, but she also describes a state mechanism to tackle homelessness as an “unfunded mandate” that frustrates stakeholders already engaged with the issue.

“This is an unfunded mandate,” said Mayor Donna Deegan. “So it is something that we will have to continue to get creative around.”

Deegan made the comments on WJCT’s First Coast Connect.

This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on HB 1365, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jon Martin and Republican Rep. Sam Garrison of Clay County.

The bill requires local jurisdictions to pick a piece of public property and wrangle people who are camping or sleeping in public spaces toward that location. Local camps must include clean restrooms, running water, security on premises and bans on drugs and alcohol. It bans counties and municipalities from permitting public sleeping or camping on public property without explicit permission.

Deegan acknowledges that “it is an issue we have to deal with.”

“People don’t feel safe when they’re walking around the streets,” Deegan said. “And there’s a lot of folks that are on the streets, and we want those people to have places to live.”

“I don’t love the idea of a tent city. I do understand that we need to find more places for folks to be and we need them to be off of the streets,” se continued said, adding that “it’s very hard to ask people to go someplace unless you have a place for all of them to go.”

“And so that’s what we have to really focus on. We’re gonna have to focus on, how do we create that? How will we fund it?”

Yet despite what Deegan calls “a frustration for a lot of us that are already working on these problems and trying to get solutions,” she believes “we’ll get there because we are both very focused on finding solutions there and we will.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Earl Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

    March 21, 2024 at 11:13 am

    Good Morn ‘Timg Florida,
    The reason we could not fund the implementation is due to the plain fact that way too many of our local govornments (like Duvall) are under the jack-boot to the citizen’s neck controll of “Dook 4 Brains Leftist” Leadership.
    And as such:
    Our funding would have been diverted to kickbacks to friends of the local elected officials, and/or spent on stupid woke “Dook 4 Brains Leftist” adgenda totally un-related to helping Florida’s homeless citizenary.
    Y’all’s local elections have consiquences.
    So now you all know why we could not provide funding to impliment our Sage Mandate and “Knowing Stuff Is 1/2 The Battle”.
    Thank you Florida,
    I, Earl Pitts American, know that you all understand.

    • rick whitaker

      March 21, 2024 at 11:25 am

      relax your sphincter is what i would tell you, you dirty old man.

  • MH/Duuuval

    March 21, 2024 at 3:19 pm

    DeSantis has lost his mind, not vetoing this gigantic unfunded mandate. This is malfeasance, not leadership.

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 23, 2024 at 1:44 pm

      But, then, what should we have expected from MAGA bait?

  • Dale A Arnold

    March 26, 2024 at 10:13 am

    So Republicans create an unfunded mandate and the county /cities have to raise taxes or cut spending on other needs to pay for the unfunded mandate. Those Republicans have set a trap for the county and city management. To fund the mandate they have to either Raise taxes or cut spending on needed projects that would have improved citizens lives.
    The same Republicans that created their unfunded mandate will accuse them of being taxe and spend politicians!

Comments are closed.


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