Colorado Right To Rest Act HB 17-1314 Introduced

Colorado Right To Rest Act HB 17-1314 Introduced

Denver, CO— On Monday April 3, 2017, Colorado State Representatives Salazar and Melton (both Democrats) introduced legislation to end the alarming trend of cities passing laws that criminalize the basic civil rights of homeless individuals. HB 17-1314, known as the “Right to Rest Act,” would, among other things, protect the rights of all people to move freely, rest, have privacy of one’s belonging, and eat in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle. The many laws across Colorado which infringe on these rights would be rendered null and void. The bill is scheduled for its first hearing in the House Local Government Committee on April 19th at 1:30pm in room 271.

Colorado Right to Rest Organizer, Marcus Hyde, said, “We have a moral imperative to protect the civil and human rights of every person. Criminalization deprives individuals of safe, legal and dignified opportunities to perform necessary human functions. It forces vulnerable people who lack housing into more hidden, and therefore more dangerous, areas—with deadly consequences.”

In a unique irony the bill was introduced the afternoon before three (3) people start a criminal trial for violation of Denver’s Unauthorized Urban Camping Ban with the potential of spending a year in jail for sleeping and up to a $999 fine.

The Right to Rest Act (HB 17-1314) ends the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and civil rights for all people.

This legislation protects the following rights and prohibits the enforcement of any local laws that violate these rights:

  • Right to move freely, rest, sleep and be protected in a public space.

  • Right to rest in public spaces and protect one self from the elements in a non-obstructive manner.

  • Right to reasonable expectation of privacy of your property in public space

  • Right to occupy a legally parked vehicle.

  • Right to share food and eat in public.

 

Survival while living without a home should never be deemed a crime.

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