Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin says he hopes to speed up passage of bills related to the homeless recently proposed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga.

The mayor’s bills prohibit sitting or lying on sidewalks and public urination and defecation in Waikiki. Fukunaga’s bill would expand the sidewalk prohibition to Chinatown.

The bills could pass as early as July 30, Martin said in a press release Friday.

“Homelessness has reached the crisis stage in Honolulu. The council, the mayor and the public are in total agreement on that,” Martin said in the release. “Fast tracking these bills will provide the city administration with the legal authority to clean up public areas but also help to get the homeless into shelters and receive assistance sooner rather than later.”

Last month, Martin added $32 million into the fiscal year 2015 budget for building or renovating housing for the homeless, in addition to $15.2 million that was requested by the mayor for housing and services for the homeless.

The mayor announced his plan for using the funding at a press conference on Wednesday.

The bills have been scheduled to be heard at a special session on Thursday, June 26 at 8:45 a.m.

The bills are expected to then be immediately heard by the Committee on Zoning and Planning at 9 a.m., which is chaired by Councilman Ikaika Anderson.

The bills have to pass three readings by the council.

LeadCrop Homeless Waikiki Kalakaua Ave black & white

A man sleeps on a sidewalk along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

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