In June 2019, the Austin City Council voted essentially to decriminalize camping and resting in public, which opponents argued made the downtown area less safe. Mayor Steve Adler and other proponents of the decision argued it allowed people to become more visible. Opponents argued it led to more public health and safety issues in Central Austin and in other reaches of the city, as encampments cropped up following the decision. The dispute triggered a back-and-forth between local and state leaders after Gov. Greg Abbott joined the discussion in October 2019. Abbott threatened state intervention if the city didn’t address public defecation and drug use, citing (sometimes incorrectly) evidence from social media. City Council did eventually reinstate some bans on public camping and resting, specifically in the downtown area. A day later, Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Transportation to clear underpasses of encampments. Abbott then reappropriated state-owned land just south of the airport to serve as a temporary camp until a shelter could be built downtown.