AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a pledge to support police departments in the state through his “Back the Blue” campaign. During a press conference on Thursday, he affirmed that he will seek to legislate measures that would make it financially impossible for cities to cut funds from law enforcement agencies.
“It is particularly offensive that some cities are failing to respect and even depriving police officers,” Abbott said.
The president said last week that he was considering a legislative proposal that, if passed, would put control of the Austin Police Department under state authority. These criticisms came after the Austin City Council cut its police department budget.
Similarly, Abbott announced a new legislative proposal, saying that cities that remove funding from their police departments will lose their annexation powers.
“Cities that remove funding from their police departments will lose their annexation powers forever,” the governor said.
Abbott indicated that its previous property tax proposal combined with the annexation proposal will make it financially impossible to phase out funds to law enforcement agencies.
“This should leave Austin with no choice but to restore the cuts they have already made to the police,” he reiterated.
In mid-August, Abbott announced that it will push through legislation next year that seeks to freeze property tax revenues for cities that cut police budgets.
The Texas capital decided to cut its police department budget by $ 150 million after officers and the city’s top cop faced months of criticism for the murder of an unarmed black and Hispanic man. They also received criticism for the use of force against protesters.
Austin’s budget cuts will cancel the next three cadet classes. Additionally, they will reduce officer overtime pay and eliminate vacant officer positions.