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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed on Thursday a law banning homeless people from sleeping in public spaces, instead seeking to move them to shelters or government encampments if the former reach full capacity. The law also promises greater access to services for substance abuse and mental health.

Speaking at a news conference in Miami Beach, DeSantis said that allowing homeless people to sleep in parks and other public spaces can affect local quality of life and have a negative impact on businesses.

He also said that it is harder to provide care for the homeless if they're scattered. "I think this is absolutely the right balance to strike," DeSantis said. "We want to make sure we put public safety above all else."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

If camps are indeed created, they would have to include mental health services, addiction treatment, running water and restroom. They would also need to be free of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Florida's homeless population was estimated to be at over 30,000 people. While the figure is lower than in many other states, it could grow as its population increases rapidly.

The law will allow residents, business owners and the state attorney general to file lawsuits against local governments for failing to enforce the law.

The law's detractors have argued that it seeks to round up homeless people and hide them from public view. "This bill does not and it will not address the more pressing and root cause of homelessness," said Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones during a debate this year. "We are literally reshuffling the visibility of unhoused individuals with no exit strategy for people who are experiencing homelessness."

CBS News recalled that Miami Beach had also passed a similar resolution in October last year. "It helps people. It's increasing funding for shelters. It's increasing funding for mental health treatment. It's increasing funding for substance abuse treatment. This will absolutely help people," said Mayor Stephen Meiner back then.

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