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Meredith Jaulin of Shower the People talks on the phone while surveying the flood damage to an encampment of unhoused people adjacent to Caldwell Park on Monday, March 29, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. Two people who were living in an encampment along Sevenmile Creek perished in flooding on March 28. They are among the four people who died in South Nashville after record rainfall over the weekend in the worst flooding for the region since 2010. / Josie Norris / The Tennessean

Advocates working to help homeless people are celebrating the death of a bill last week that would have criminalized camping on public property anywhere in the state.

House Bill 0978, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, passed the House floor last week but its Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 1610, sponsored by Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, only received one vote of support during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

The bill sought to make soliciting or camping on a state or interstate highway or under a bridge or overpass a misdemeanor offense. It also broadened the language of the 2012 Equal Access to Public Property Act to make camping on all public property, not just property owned by the state, a criminal offense.

Read more at The Tennessean's website.

Meghan Mangrum covers education for the USA TODAY Network — Tennessee. Contact her at mmangrum@tennessean.com. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.

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