Texas Republicans pass bill to punish cities that defund police

Republicans in Texas have passed a bill that would punish large cities that defund their police departments, The Daily Wire reported.

The “Back the Blue” bill is the latest effort by state Republicans across America to push back on leftist police reform movements that critics say have encouraged crime.

Anti-“defund the police” bill

House Bill 1900, introduced by state Rep. Craig Goldman (R), of Fort Worth, sends a clear enough message with tax penalties for cities that jeopardize the safety of their residents.

“Let’s support public safety in this state. Let’s support our police. Let’s back the blue,” Goldman said.

Those penalties include a property tax cap, a reduction in sales tax revenue equal to the cost of state policing, and a freeze on public utilities costs. Residents living in areas annexed within 30 years would have the option of voting to de-annex their communities.

If signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — it needs to pass the Republican-controlled Senate first, and is expected to — it goes into effect Sept. 1.

Some critics of the bill say it usurps the power of cities to manage their affairs, and Democrats in particular have complained that it targets blue cities. The bill only applies to cities with populations bigger than 250,000. An amendment to make the bill’s penalties apply to all cities failed.

Pushback on “defund the police” movement

The liberal enclave of Austin had spurred the push with its decision last summer to slash its police budget by $150 million during the George Floyd unrest.

Nearly a year after Floyd’s death sparked the worst rioting the country has seen in decades, law enforcement remains a pressing theme as America’s intractable controversy over policing, race, and crime continues.

Last year saw a large spike in crime, including murders, that has been linked with the demoralization of police by the left and their allies in city governments.

Cities that defunded their police, such as Minneapolis and Portland, saw increases in violent crime, according to Fox News. Austin saw a 26% uptick in aggravated assaults.

Republicans in states like Georgia and Florida have similarly moved to block cities from defunding their police departments, as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to press for sweeping police reform with the backing of President Joe Biden.

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