By Lori Kersey and Lacie Pierson, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Thursday that would restrict where homeless shelters and encampments could exist within West Virginia’s municipalities.
House Bill 4753 would prevent municipalities from authorizing or permitting homeless encampments within 1,000 feet of a school or licensed child care facility.
If it becomes law, the bill would make it so anyone could file a lawsuit and seek an injunction to stop or remove a homeless encampment or temporary housing for homeless people if it’s found to be in violation of the provisions of the bill.
The bill would be retroactively effective Jan. 1, 2022.
Supporters of the bill say it will ensure safety for children attending school. The bill’s detractors on Thursday said it would put municipalities and churches in particular in difficult spots as they work to support people who are homeless in their communities.</p></div><div class=”subscriber-only”><p>The bill’s lead sponsor is House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha. Delegate Larry Pack, R-Kanawha, also is a sponsor of the bill…