RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott proposing new legislation for cities that defund police departments after the city of Austin decided to shift responsibilities from the police.
“Defunding the police puts residents in danger,” said Abbott. “And it invites lawlessness into our communities.”
To discourage other cities, the Governor is proposing legislation for Texas cities. Cities that defund their police will have their ability to increase property taxes frozen.
“The way this proposal works is this. Any city that defunds police departments will have his property tax revenue frozen at the current level. They will never be able to increase property tax revenue again if they defund police,” Abbott said.
Here in the Valley there is no talks of defunding the police. For many cities, the police department is a major part of their budget. Other cities throughout the Valley said there is no discussion of defunding police in the 2020 or any future budgets meetings.
For example, the city of Harlingen 2019 fiscal year reports police and fire departments make up a majority of the city’s general fund.
“We will not allow that core function to be undermined by cities that seem to defund and dismantle the law enforcement agencies that have a sworn duty,” said the Governor.
Lawyers said this proposal does not become legal until the legislative body votes and approves.
To put it into prospective, lawyers said the Governor can propose whatever he wants, within the US and Texas constitutional powers.
The next legislative session is in January 2021.