A proposed new Bloomington law that would provide some protections to encampments of houseless people has been referred to the city council’s committee of the whole.
On Wednesday night, after the proposed law’s first reading, the city council decided that its committee of the whole will meet next week, on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m., to deliberate on the encampment protections.
Under local law, no debate or amendments are allowed at a first reading.
The ordinance could have been referred to the council’s four-member standing committee on public safety. But that motion failed on a 4–5 vote.
Voting for referral to the standing committee on public safety were: Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Steve Volan, Matt Flaherty and Kate Rosenbarger.
The city council’s public safety standing committee is made up of Piedmont-Smith, Volan, Susan Sandberg, and Jim Sims.
That means the public safety committee members were split 2–2 on the question of whether to refer the proposed encampment protections to their smaller group of four, compared to the group of all nine councilmembers.
With a referral to the public safety committee no longer a possibility, the vote to send the proposed new law to the committee of the whole was 9–0.
The contentious vote on committee referral was consistent with ongoing skirmishes among councilmembers over the creation and use of standing committees. Continue reading “Bloomington city council makes procedural debate out of prep for deliberations on homeless encampment ordinance”