DeSantis Signs Bill Creating Homeless Camps, Says California Lets 'Inmates Run the Asylum'

DeSantis Signs Bill Creating Homeless Camps, Says California Lets 'Inmates Run the Asylum'

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 20, 2024

MIAMI BEACH, FL—Florida Governor DeSantis kicked off Wednesday morning with a bang, first by signing a bill creating locally-funded homeless camps, then by smashing a dinner plate at the podium.

"We have to govern this state and our communities with an eye toward what's in the best interest of the law-abiding citizen," DeSantis said at a Miami Beach press conference, explaining the homeless camp bill he signed this morning. "What's in the best interest of families who are trying to raise kids? What's in the best interest of our seniors who are here to retire?"

SB 1635  HB 1365 was a controversial, Republican-led bill passed during the 2024 session. It allows cities with high homeless populations to create locally-funded homeless camps. These camps must provide sanitation, 24/7 security, and mental health services, as well as be completely drug-free.

The camps are designed to lessen the state's homelessness crisis, with Florida having the nation's third-highest homeless population with 25,959 people counted in 2022.

Despite these numbers, DeSantis said that Florida's homeless population has decreased while the nation's has increased, saying, "We've seen homeless population throughout the country grow between 2019 and 2022 by 3%. Over that same period of time, Florida's population of homeless declined by 11%."

DeSantis lauded the legislation, juxtaposing Florida with California as he stated that six of the top ten cities with the highest homeless population are in California, saying "It's like they let the inmates run the asylum...You have to make sure that everything we do is geared to that quality of life and public safety—those are non-negotiable."

Georgios Vogi, a Greek restaurant owner, gave DeSantis a plate to smash, telling him "We have a tradition in Ancient Greece, where we break plates for people we love and honor."

DeSantis smashed the plate at the podium, but not before Vogi told him, "I want to see you in the White House." DeSantis suspended his campaign after a staggering loss in Iowa.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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