The city of Grants Pass in Oregon has a ban against camping or sleeping overnight on public property. A former court ruling said enforcing these types of laws against homeless populations is a violation of their 8th amendment— saying it was a cruel and unusual punishment for a person who has nowhere else to go.

On Friday, the Supreme Court said otherwise.

In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court of the United States announced last week that cities can enforce sleeping on public property bans against homeless populations. The majority said the 8th amendment refers to punishments given after a guilty conviction; not the enforcement of a law in itself.

Today, Democrats in the House and Senate condemned the ruling.

“What this does is it puts people experiencing homelessness in danger of being put in jail, collecting fees that they can't afford to pay, essentially criminalizing poverty which is deplorable, inhumane, and frankly cruel and unusual,” said Rep. Lindsay Powell from Allegheny County.

Democrats spoke on how cities should address the causes of homelessness.

"When I worked for the city of Pittsburgh, I could tell you firsthand the people that I met who were living in our downtown outside, said 'I tried the shelter— it was full’,” described Powell. “'I have a housing choice voucher, but there's no housing. I've been on every couch you could think of. I've asked every favor that I could and I have nowhere literally else to go.’"

Around 12,600 Pennsylvanians experience homelessness on any given day. At today’s presser, lawmakers pointed to expanding affordable housing, eviction sealing, and providing a lawyer in eviction cases as solutions to the homelessness crisis.

“So when someone does come up for an eviction proceeding, they are less likely, if they have a representative with them, to have the eviction fully go through,” said Powell.

Shapiro has called for a $10 million fund increase to the state’s Homeless Assistance Program. Democrats have also announced plans for a bill that would make it illegal for Pennsylvania cities and towns to criminalize homelessness.