Haslam Waiting to Weigh In on Bill to Evict Occupiers

Governor Bill Haslam isn’t ready to say whether he’ll support lawmakers trying to evict Occupy Nashville. The camp, which stands at around fifty tents, has been on the plaza by the state capitol since October.

While police were hauling off many Occupy efforts elsewhere last fall, Haslam’s attempt to kick out Occupy Nashville was slapped down in court. That’s let the group persist, with tents right outside lawmakers’ offices.

Now legislators have weighed in with a bill to make squatting on public property a crime. Haslam previously said that’s not his favored approach. But the proposal has some ways to go before Haslam could either sign on or veto it.


“I don’t know what the legislation says yet. Obviously one of the things we’d want to make certain of is – Is it something the attorney general reviewed and approved and feels like is constitutional? So it’s a little premature, before I see that, to say.”

Haslam has been treading cautiously. Because of a court injunction, any change in the plaza’s rules will likely face a legal challenge. The bill isn’t yet scheduled to go before a committee.

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