Gov. Abbott Proposes a Penalty for Cities that Defund Police
Gov. Abbott just announced a proposal that has stopped Texas city officials, lawmakers, and citizens in their tracks.
Alongside Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonner, and Ft. Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Gov. Abbott proposed at today's press conference that 'defunding any police departments in cities across Texas should be met with a property tax freeze.'
Last week Austin City Council voted to cut their police department's budget by a third, reallocating funds from the police department by moving said funds instead to community and social services. The trending term for such an allocation from the police department is known as 'defunding.'
According to AustinTexas.Gov which offers the entire adopted budget proposal for the City of Austin, the Austin Police Department funds were reduced by approximately $20 million dollars in the reallocation.
Today Gov. Abbott offered his sentiment for such an action. “Cities that endanger residents by reducing law enforcement should not then be able to turn around and go back and get more property tax dollars from those same residents whose lives the city just endangered," Gov. Abbott said.
Gov. Abbott further added, “To maintain the safety that our communities deserve today we are announcing a legislative proposal that will discourage defunding law enforcement in Texas." Abbott elaborated, "Any city that defunds police departments will have its property tax revenue frozen at the current level."
Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick backed Gov. Abbott's sentiment by offering, "It is only because of our DPS force of state troopers, hundreds that came to the aid and recuse of APD, that Austin didn’t turn into a potential Seattle or Portland," adding he felt Austin mayor and city council were "irresponsible". Patrick added he hopes the legislation will reallocate those funds back to the police.
This leaves Texas wondering what will the final result be for Austin and other Texas cities considering defunding.
For the latest community news, stay tuned.