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Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced new rules that bar cities in Texas from defunding their police departments have now taken effect, going on to point out that “we support our law enforcement officers.”
In June, the Lone Star State Republican signed HB 1900 after he made the effort to stop cities from defunding police an emergency agenda item during the regular session of the 87th Legislature.
“Under House Bill 1900, if the Governor’s PSO (Public Safety Office) determines a city has defunded its police department, the city will be subject to tax rate limitations, lose access to certain tax revenues, and be subject to other budgetary requirements and limitations,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
Announcing the adoption of new Texas Administrative Code rules that will prevent cities from defunding the police.
Texas will always support our law enforcement officers.https://t.co/EWssneyDHb
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 7, 2022
“When the city demonstrates it has reversed the reductions, PSO may reverse its defunding determination and the city will no longer be subject to those limitations, reductions, and requirements—unless it defunds its police again,” the statement added.
Abbott also expressed his support of Texas law enforcement, making his view “abundantly clear.”
“Texas remains a law-and-order state and we continue to make it abundantly clear that we support our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep communities safe,” Abbott said.
“My office’s adoption of these new rules will prevent cities from making reckless and downright dangerous decisions to defund the police, ensuring a safer future for Texans all across the Lone Star State,” he added.
In May, Abbott hailed the bill’s passage in the Texas House on Twitter.
“Texas will ALWAYS #BackTheBlue! @GoldmanCraig’s #HB1900 just PASSED in the TX House. This bill cracks down on cities that try to defund police. One step closer to my desk,” Abbott wrote in a post containing a video of him speaking at a GOP event.
“In Texas, we don’t defund or disrespect our police. We support our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” he added.
This bill cracks down on cities that try to defund police.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 7, 2021
The issue of saving police department funding arose when the most liberal of Texas cities, the capital of Austin, moved to cut law enforcement funding in 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd.
The Daily Wire reported at the time:
In September 2020, the Texas Municipal Police Association paid to erect two billboards outside of the city warning people coming in that the city had moved to cut some funding from its law enforcement.
“This reckless act, a political stunt by the city council pandering to the radical left, will do nothing but endanger the people of Austin,” the union said in a message posted to Facebook.
“As the largest police association in Texas, it is our duty and responsibility to stand up for the brave men and woman of the APD, as well as the other law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction within the city limits which will have less of APDs resources to depend on, and to raise public awareness of the dangers of defunding not just Austin, but any city across the U.S.,” the union’s post noted further.
In October, left-wing billionaire George Soros launched a $1 million effort to stop Austin from hiring more police officers.
According to campaign finance documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, “the Hungarian-born political activist gave $500,000 through the Soros-backed Open Society Policy Center to a political action committee in opposition to a ballot initiative that forces the city to employ two police officers per 1,000 residents.”
“Soros’s donation, made on Oct. 12, is his second of the month and comes as Austin experiences a decades-high spike in violent crime,” the outlet continued.