AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott proposed Thursday that any city in Texas that defunds police will forever lose the authority to annex.
He also proposed such cities can be subject to de-annexation by residents.
Abbott called out Austin for its current proposal to defund police. He also called out the City of Dallas for a version of defunding police this week.
Abbott said in part: “Cities that defund their police departments will forever lose their annexation powers. And, any areas and any residents that have ever been annexed by that city in the past will have the power to vote to dis-annex themselves from the city.”
“It will force Austin to restore cuts already made to law enforcement,” Abbott also said.
The Austin City Council in August voted to reduce the policed budget by $150 million.
“We have seen the consequences of defunding and dismantling law enforcement and communities across the entire country,” Abbott said. “We’ve seen it in New York and Chicago and Portland and Seattle and other communities, and it is unacceptable to see the chaos that has been stoked in these communities by the local government’s efforts to defund and dismantle law enforcement.”
Abbott also said our law enforcement officers have our backs every single day and that we need to show them that Texans and their elected leaders have their backs, too.
“One thing that I strongly support is better training for law enforcement officers, better hiring policies, better equipment for law enforcement officers,” Abbott said. “Are all law enforcement officers perfect? Absolutely not. We want to hire better officers; we want to train them better. Those things do require more funding though.”
In August, Abbott proposed the cities that defunded police face a property tax revenue freeze. Both the proposed freeze and the proposed loss of annexation go to the legislature in the next session.
Abbott also asked elected leaders statewide to sign a pledge on his campaign website, then post about it on social media.
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope for a comment, but we have heard back from him yet.