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Will Missouri criminalize homelessness?

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A bill passed by the Missouri General Assembly would ban people from sleeping on state-owned land and allow the state attorney general to sue local governments that don’t enforce the ban. Opponents of the legislation call it "criminalizing a population."

House Bill 1606, passed at the end of the Missouri General Assembly's 2022 session, would ban camping on state-owned land. Modeled after legislation popping up around the country, this bill has rural and urban communities concerned about how it will hurt unhoused residents — and questioning if they will have to enforce it.

KCUR's Nomin Ujiyediin spoke with Missouri Independent reporter Rebecca Rivas about the bill and what might happen if Gov. Mike Parson signs it into law.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love, Trevor Grandin and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate

As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.
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