Abbott's response comes after members of "Save Austin Now" turned in over 24,000 signed petitions Tuesday, hoping to reinstate Austin’s homeless camping ban by getting it on the May 2021 ballot. The first effort to reinstate the ban was ruled invalid back in August, and they decided to try again starting December 1.
"Contrary to what Austin leaders think no one has a right to urinate & defecate wherever they want," Abbott said on Twitter. "Homelessness promoted by Austin has also endangered public safety."
Of the 30,000 signed petitions they received, Save Austin Now co-founder Matt Mackowiak estimated they turned in about 26-27,000 to the city clerk, due to some petitions being thrown out because of ineligibility or other issues.
The signature validation process could take several weeks.
The city has a Feb. 12 deadline to approve any ballot language for the May ballot.
Gov. Greg Abbott shared a message to the City of Austin Wednesday on Twitter, saying that if the city doesn't reinstate the ban on homeless camping, "the state will do it for them."
In June 2019, Austin City Council legalized camping in public back in June, then later in October, they put back in place some camping, sitting, and lying restrictions.
Earlier this month the Housing Authority of the City of Austin reported it has secured more than $20 million worth of federal funds for voucher programs fighting homelessness, with more than a million dollars of that coming from the CARES Coronavirus Relief Act.
The funding is expected to help secure permanent supportive housing for 100 of the more than 300 people living in Austin's 5 protective lodges, also known as "ProLodges."