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Despite protests about a war on the poor, Las Vegas officials passed a law Wednesday making it illegal to sleep on the streets when beds are available at established shelters.

The measure framed as a ban on camping downtown makes Las Vegas the latest city in the U.S. West to take steps to try to deal with complaints about homelessness.

It has also drawn criticism from several Democratic presidential candidates.

Effective Jan. 1, the law makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for sleeping or camping in public areas.

Opponents and protesters called it unfair.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, sponsor of the measure, called it imperfect but necessary amid what officials called a homeless crisis in a city with an international tourist attraction at stake.