The state of Texas has plans to punish cities which decide to cut funding to their respective law enforcement agencies.
The Texas House passed new legislation on Friday which would punish any city with a population of 250,000 or greater (there are 11 such cities in the state) should they cut funding to their own police departments. The legislation is a follow up measure after Governor Greg Abbot warned Austin, TX that there would be repercussions to its $150 million budget cut of their own police force.
A governor spokesperson said that the bill is meant to prevent cities from following the same steps that others such as Seattle, Minneapolis and Austin have taken.
The bill will only take effect in the largest cities in the state, as an amendment to make the law apply to all towns failed in the House. The House and Senate are both controlled by Republicans making the laws passage very likely.
Cities are designated as a defunding city after receiving review by the governors criminal justice division. Items the division would look for include cutting funding to police departments, cutting the number of officers, or cutting overtime and training for officers.
Governor Abbott praised the bill, saying that Texans “don’t defund or disrespect” their police.
This bill cracks down on cities that try to defund police.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 7, 2021
Austin faced a wave of backlash for cutting funding to their police department last year. Two massive billboards were erected outside of the city, warning those entering that the city had cut funding to their police force.
Author: Sheila Davis