Mayor Ballard vetoes ‘Homeless Bill of Rights’

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has vetoed a proposal supporters called a “Homeless Bill of Rights,” saying it would have created liability issues.

Ballard said in a statement released Friday that the proposal passed earlier this month by the City-County Council was ill-conceived and the rights listed already exist for all citizens.

The ordinance sought to make it more difficult for homeless people to be displaced from public property in Indianapolis. It was modeled after similar laws in Illinois and Rhode Island.

The ordinance also called for allowing homeless people to move freely in public spaces, be treated equally by city agencies and receive emergency medical care.

Ballard has previously supported restrictions on the use of public spaces by the homeless to try to put an end to aggressive panhandling.

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