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Abbott: If homeless allowed to camp in Austin streets, lawmakers will override

June 24, 2019 - 7:07 am

AUSTIN ( -- Days after Austin's City Council approved changes to the city's "no sit/no lie" and camping ordinances, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is issuing a warning to city leaders.

Related: Council loosens laws affecting homeless; fixes "Mistake On The Lake"

Sunday night, Abbott tweeted, "If Austin— or any other Texas city—permits camping on city streets it will be yet another local ordinance the State of Texas will override." He added, "At some point cities must start putting public safety & common sense first."

Supporters of the ordinance changes approved early Friday morning say they will help reduce criminal charges that homeless people face when they are just trying to surive. The changes roll back the ordinances to the point that Austin police say they'll only be able to ticket people if they panhandle aggressively, or block public walkways.

The revised ordinances go into effect next week.

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