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Conn. bill of rights for homeless progresses

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A bill establishing a bill of rights for the state's homeless population is progressing through the Connecticut General Assembly.

Some lawmakers, however, questioned Tuesday whether the legislation is necessary.

The bill, which passed the Planning and Development Committee, 12-7, spells out how each homeless person has the right to move freely in public spaces, have equal employment opportunities, receive emergency medical care, and the ability to register to vote and vote. The bill also lists their right to a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding their private property, and to receive equal treatment by government agencies.

New Fairfield Rep. Richard Smith said homeless individuals already have those rights.

Proponents say there's a need for this legislation because the homeless are often ostracized and alienated, and often have their constitutional rights ignored.

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