The Texas legislature has passed two bills to prevent defunding of local law enforcement agencies.
House Bill 1900 is a proposal that would freeze property taxes in cities with more than 250,000 residents that reduce police funding from the previous year — while redirecting sales tax revenue to the Texas Department of Public Safety. It cleared its final hurdle in the legislature on Monday.
Senate Bill 23 would require Texas counties with more than 1 million people — there are six that qualify, including Travis County — to hold an election before being able to cut police funding. The House granted final approval to the bill on Tuesday, but the Senate will have to approve changes that were made in the lower chamber.
Both proposals should soon head to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law, KXAN reports.
The Republican-led effort to protect police departments from budget cuts is in response to the Austin City’s Council decision to reimagine the police budget by immediately cutting $20 million and moving $130 million in services out of police control.