Image 01 Image 03

In Rhode Island, the sidewalks are belong to the homeless and their lawyers

In Rhode Island, the sidewalks are belong to the homeless and their lawyers

Rhode Island is being crushed by pension debt, our cities are suffocating, we’re driving businesses away with regulatory minutiae, and we’re hemorrhaging young people.  Oh, and we just threw away up to $75 million on a video game company run by a former baseball player.

So what are our Governor and legislature spending their time on?

Homeless Bill of Rights:

Rhode Island’s governor is expected to sign into law the first “Homeless Bill of Rights” in the United States as early as next week, formally banning discrimination against homeless people and affirming their equal access to jobs, housing and services.

The legislation, which won final approval by the state Senate on Wednesday, bucks a national trend among municipalities toward outlawing behaviors associated with homelessness such as eating, sleeping and panhandling in public spaces.

Among other steps, the Rhode Island law would guarantee homeless people the right to use public sidewalks, parks and transportation as well as public buildings, like anyone else “without discrimination on the basis of his or her housing status.”

It guarantees a “reasonable expectation of privacy” with respect to personal belongings similar to that of people who have homes.

You can find a copy of the legislation here.  This provision will make ACORN and Eric Holder smile:

34-37.1-3. Bill of Rights. – …. A person experiencing homelessness:

(5) Has the right to vote, register to vote, and receive documentation necessary to prove identity for voting without discrimination due to his or her housing status;

And not only do they have “rights,” they have the right to sue and get their attorneys fees paid:

34-37.1-4. Damages and attorneys’ fees. – In any civil action alleging a violation of this chapter, the court may award appropriate injunctive and declaratory relief, actual damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff.

In other words, dear retailers, your sidewalks are belong to them, and it you don’t like that, you will pay their attorneys’ fees.

Rhode Island politicians have their priorities so screwed up it is beyond a joke.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



I bet you all of these legislators live in gated communities or their equivalent. On a ShuttleExpress to the airport this year, I met a woman from Santa Barbara who told me (actually, almost a rant) how the homeless had taken over the city and that the police were ticketing residents for skateboarding and other harmless activities while ignoring the agressive panhandling of the so-called homeless. She wa furious at the ACLU and the do-gooders who seem to despise the normal, productive citizen. Oh yes, the homeless seemed to be organized into house break-in teams. Liberalism is a social as well as a mental disorder.

Cowboy Curtis | June 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

And yet people still wonder how the South could ever have wanted to separate itself from the North.

“your sidewalks are belong to them”

are” ? Should that be “all” ?

Or is this some sort of pirate talk ?

So, if I move to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and become a “homeless” “resident,” I could register to vote in each precinct where I an without a home. That way I could spend all day on election day going from precinct to precinct voting for Whitehouse and his friend in the Whitehouse.

    gs in reply to donb. | June 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    You won’t have to “go”. The Democrats will drive you. With snacks and maybe some pocket change.

Quoted in LI, I can now cross that off my bucket list ;).

In short order the “right to befoul” the public sidewalks will be interpreted to be within the scope of this statute.

Shopkeepers, you’ve been warned.

You misspelled ‘Ocuturds’.

    tsrblke in reply to secondwind. | June 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I use the slightly less PC portmanteau of “Occupy” and “Retards.” Mostly because I figure if I’m going for offensive straight up, I might as well double down on it ;).

How, exactly, does one discriminate against someone based on their home status? Is there some identifying characteristic?

Lincoln Chaffee is an idiot. I’m really thinking about finding another state to live in.

1. Bill is completely right. It’s not just the foolishness of the policy; it’s that this is what they focus on while the public and private economies are in grievous shape. With characteristic smugness and self-congratulation.

2. Every RI politician, and MA’s Elizabeth Warren, should be put on the spot about this.

3. I hope we can pull the country out of its nosedive before the Gods of the Copybook Headings arrive. Or the Four Horseman. This is an important election.

    You and Bill are correct. It’s a diversion so they don’t have to talk about these important issues. Focus on frivolity. Bread and circuses.

    Icepilot in reply to gs. | June 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

    2. Watched Warren on Hardball last night. Her efforts to empathize with the pain of the downtrodden, her beseeching desire to “fight” against the Simon Legree’s of the world was just creepy.

      1. OT: Very interesting. Therein lies a potentially deeper hole than the Cherokee thing. To represent the citizens of Massachusetts, we want someone who wants to, you know, represent the citizens of Massachusetts; we do not want a Joan of Arc wannabe who is acting out her delusions of grandeur unconstrained by common scruple.

      That just might play in Wistah.

      2. Even more OT: Come to think of it, Warren has been vetted—by Obama, who refused to nominate her to run the agency she supposedly created. Barry and Liz can blame the eeeevil RethugliKKKans all they want, but the fact remains that he was unwilling to fight for her; (in)actions speak louder than words.

      If Obama wouldn’t keep Warren in Washington, why should the people of Massachusetts send her there?

I wonder if the legislators are going to extend the right to privacy similar to a person in their own home, they are willing to extend the right to possess a fire arm to the homeless similar to the right people have to possess a firearm in their own home.

Age of insanity.

The less responsibility put upon homeless people, the less their chances of recovering.

Once again, liberalism destroying everything it touches.

Uhm… if Rhode Island could give South Florida a little break, at least in the warm weather, we’d be very grateful. 🙂

They are placing homelessness in the same victim category as a disabled person…

Which will eventually dilute (bleed) resources established for persons who are legitimately disabled.

While Ability To Bleed is only restricted by Government Necessity To Tax and Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

LI has a war on Cherokees and now a war on the homeless? Aaaugh! You took all they had! Now you want their dignity, too. You … capitalist. You … blogger you!! There, I said it.

Written on my computer, in the comfort of my air-conditioned living room.

American Freedom Fighter | June 15, 2012 at 8:10 am

“In Rhode Island, the sidewalks are belong to the homeless …..”

But of course! People who don’t contribute to the “public welfare” with their tax dollars should of course be entitled to what others have paid for with their labor. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need……..

senttocoventryri | June 15, 2012 at 8:21 am

Just wait until you see what they are about to do to car insurance…

So vagrancy in RI is now no longer illegal, but legally protected.

Honestly my only answer is for RI to do more of the same. Let every wrongheaded, hare brained notion become law. It is the only way the public will come to see the folly of the people they have elected.

Unvarnished truth, reductio ad absurdum, the bottom of the slippery slope, call it what you will. When caught in a storm the quickest way through is to head straight into it.

    Milhouse in reply to ThomasD. | June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Vagrancy isn’t illegal anywhere in the USA; the Supreme Court tossed out those laws years ago as void for vagueness.

Midwest Rhino | June 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

next law will order shopkeepers to allow the homeless to use their bathrooms … then provide showers, then provide beverages and food.

I ran a little sports league at a bar in a large southern city … when the sheriff department’s team showed up, they’d “clean up” the streets around the place. “Move along .. move along”. I never noticed till they pointed it out.

A longer term answer would be to charter a bus for all homeless to move to Rhode Island. All our homeless are belong to Rhode Island … thanks guys. 🙂

Professor… I saw the light back in 1990 and fled to Texas and have never regretted it.

I return to visit but after a couple of weeks back there my original decision is simply reaffirmed.

RI needs to sink to the absolute bottom so that all of the bath water can be changed. You know… Sorta like Wisconsin.

I will return in the fall but be assured that this visit will be very temporary in nature…

The federal government alone spends in excess of 1 trillion annually to assist indigent Americans. There is no excuse for progressive poverty and homelessness in this nation.

[…] » In Rhode Island, the sidewalks are belong to the homeless and their lawyers – Le·gal In·s… In other words, dear retailers, your sidewalks are belong to them, and it you don’t like that, you will pay their attorneys’ fees. […]

RI will be totally screwed up by this business, but it will be instructive for the rest of the nation. So, you know, thanks RI legislature!

Especially for that bit, ‘“reasonable expectation of privacy” with respect to personal belongings.’ Those collections of untouchable garbage on the sidewalks, in the parks and all over the alleyways will probably not enhance the image of that state — but, I could be wrong.

Alan Kellogg | June 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Some are homeless through pure bad luck. Most are homeless through their own hard work.