The bill would prevent cities that defund the police from increasing property taxes.
“When crime is on the rise, the last thing we should do is defund the police,” Abbott said, as he accused city leaders of being “more focused on political agendas than public safety.”
Their bill comes as the city council in Austin, Texas, voted 11-0 to strip police budgets of 34 percent of their funding, or $150 million.
The city will not save the money, but will instead allocate it toward social services, including $21 million for EMS, domestic violence shelters, and services for the city’s growing homeless population.
Another $80 million will contribute to a “Decouple Fund,” which seeks to remove certain responsibilities, such as forensic science and victim services, from the police department.
The remaining $49 million will support the “Reimagine Safety Fund,” an amophorous, ideological leftist project that funds “alternative forms of public safety and community support, through the yearlong reimagining process.”
Abbott said these proposals are not consistent with public safety.
“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,” he said.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the Austin city council’s decision to cut funding for the police department stems from the rise of “cancel culture,” not the goal of protecting citizens.
“Unfortunately, the targets of this ‘canceling’ are the brave men and women who selflessly put their lives on the line to keep our families safe,” he said.