Last September, former President Donald Trump began ordering the federal government to begin the process of defunding New York City and three other cities where democratic leaders allowed riots and cut the police department budget amid rising violent crime. He said that he would not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones. Now, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vows to do the same thing.
Gov. Abbott told Fox New’s Harris Faulkner that he would defund any cities that restrict law enforcement funding and even expressed an interest in legislation that would ban cities from defunding police departments, making it difficult for localities to limit the budgets. It would also prohibit cities that violate the law from adopting tax rates for the municipality’s or county’s tax rate on the date of the violation.
“We will defund the city. We are 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 because they were annexed and paying money into the city for the purpose of being able to receive police protection,” Gov. Abbott said.
He said that the Department of Public Safety will provide additional policing in the city of Austin, but that the sales tax revenue will be paying for the state law enforcement. He said this will ensure the “safety and security” in the city of Austin. They recently approved the reallocation of roughly $150 million from its law enforcement department, but that the state ensured there would be consequences.
“One, we wanted to make sure that there were going to be consequences for the city of Austin. The second is we wanted to make sure that no other city in the state of Texas would defund police,” Gov. Abbott said.
The Texas governor retweeted a post late Sunday from Kenneth Casaday, the president of the Austin Police Association, regarding the response time for a shooting call early Sunday. Casaday wrote that a call came in at 5:35 a.m. and that there were no units available in the city to respond for 12 minutes. The call was regarding a victim who suffered a critical injury after being shot in the head. The police finally arrived at 5:51 a.m.
“This is what defunding the police looks like. 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 wrote.
Other cities such as Washington, DC, Seattle, and Portland have also been centerpieces for crumbled “law and order,” amid the months of unrest and violence last year following the death of George Floyd. Trump, along with several GOP politicians, said that defunding the police directly violates the government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property. It also allows the use of federal funds to permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.
Gov. Abbott called what’s going on in Minneapolis both a “tragedy and a disaster” for the residents. He said you’ve seen the same crime wave in cities such as Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York.
While violence has surged, arrests have plummeted. The performance of Democratic mayors and governors has resulted in persistent and outrageous acts of violence and destruction in America’s once-great cities. American taxpayers deserve government officials who fund the programs that protect our citizens, not promote lawlessness.