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Greg Abbott vows to 'defund' Texas cities that limit police funding

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 5/25/2021 Jake Dima
Greg Abbott wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed on Tuesday to "defund" cities that restrict law enforcement funding and expressed interest in signing a bill into law that would make it more difficult for localities to limit police budgets in the Lone Star State.

The legislation, which passed the Senate but was delayed in the House on Monday, would require cities and municipalities to hold elections if it's deemed necessary to reduce officer funding. The bill would also allow the criminal justice division of the governor's office to prohibit cities that violate the law from adopting "a tax rate for the subsequent municipal or county fiscal year that exceeds the municipality's or county's tax rate on the date of the violation."

Neighborhoods affixed to cities that disagree with the police policies of local government can also vote to de-annex from that municipality.

ABBOTT VOWS TO SIGN LEGISLATION THAT WILL BAN CITIES FROM DEFUNDING POLICE DEPARTMENTS

“So here’s what we’re doing in the state of Texas to put teeth into this law that provides real consequences for cities that do defund the police," Abbott told Fox News's Harris Faulkner. "One, we’re going to dry up their revenue sources in a way that basically will put the city out of business.”

“We’re going to defund the city. We’re going to prohibit cities from being able to annex in the future but also allow people who have been annexed for 30 years to be able to de-annex," he continued.

Abbott threw his support behind the bill on Sunday after he responded to a tweet from Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday, who remarked that officers took 16 minutes to respond to a call about a person shot in the head and critically wounded. The city of Austin in late March approved the reallocation of roughly $150 million from its law enforcement department.

"This is what defunding the police looks like," Abbott wrote. "Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head. Texas won't tolerate this. We're about to pass a law — that I will sign — that will prevent cities from defunding police. Sanity & safety will return."

Abbott cited crime surges in major cities, including in Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle, as reasons for his decision.

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"Well, the reason it's stronger is because, as you pointed out, I'm about to sign a law that will ensure that cities in the state of Texas will not be able to defund the police," he told Faulkner. "First, the context, and that is that you pointed out what's going on in Minneapolis, where it is both a tragedy and a disaster, what's going on for the residents of Minneapolis because of the defunded police. And you've seen the same thing in Portland and Seattle and Chicago and New York, et cetera."

The Republican governor also said on Tuesday that he is set to deploy Texas Department of Public Safety personnel to the city of Austin, a move that will be paid for by sales tax revenue from the city, in order to keep the peace in the area.

Tags: News, Greg Abbott, Police, Law Enforcement, Texas, Austin, Crime, Legislation

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Greg Abbott vows to 'defund' Texas cities that limit police funding

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