“Defund the Police!” has become a rallying cry synonymous with the far-left political revolution working to “reimagine” the traditional foundations of American society. Eliminating police funding and gutting the number of staff in many metropolitan precincts is now hailed as social justice. Riots, killings, and destruction of property are just symptoms of the oppressive police state the radical left wants to dismantle. The fact that lessened police presence is leading to this social breakdown is just a minor detail.
This is a political movement, not one rooted in data, logic, or practical experience. The movement to defund law enforcement has had tragic results for the progressive strongholds who have attempted it over the last year. Indeed, violent crime has skyrocketed in places like New York City and Minneapolis (the first major American city to officially slash their law enforcement budget in response to the death of George Floyd). Despite the emerging evidence that financially sabotaging law enforcement capabilities has only led to dramatic spikes in criminality, the movement endures.
But as politicians and activists continue the pressure campaign to villainize law enforcement, no matter the consequences suffered by the citizens living in these cities, these states are stepping up to stem the tide of the “Defund” movement.
For a state synonymous with its Rangers, it is only fitting that the great state of Texas should be one of the first in the nation to confront the Defund movement head-on. In April of this year, the Texas Senate passed S.B. 23, or the Stop Local Police Defunding Act, which can effectively block any local attempt to unilaterally reallocate police spending without the public’s consent. KRLD News Radio 1080 quotes State Senator Joan Huffman summarizing the bill as follows:
“This bill requires local governments to secure voter approval when passing a budget that one: reduces regular funding for a law enforcement agency, or two: reallocates funding or resources from one law enforcement agency to another.”
The bill would also allow citizens to lobby a complaint with the Criminal Justice Department of the Governor’s office, who would then open an investigation if justified.
Arkansas is another state looking to minimize local attempts at defunding local police departments. At the beginning of the year, Arkansas state legislature introduced HB 1223, or the “Back the Blue Act.” While this proposed legislation would not give voters the same clout as the bill in Texas, it is designed to blunt any budgetary attacks put forth to reduce law enforcement capabilities in the state.
Local ABC affiliate, KTBS 3, quotes Sen. Bart Hester, a co-sponsor of the bill, with the following statement on the proposal:
“We in Arkansas value our police officers. We value all law enforcement, and if we have any rogue city councils or something that decided to defund them, then we’re not going to allow that.”
The bill, if passed, would require any funding reduction greater than 25% of a local law enforcement budget to be allocated to another public safety or law enforcement program. Failure to comply would result in a loss of state funding.
Oklahoma has also entered the arena in the fight against the Defund movement. In April, Republican Governor, Kevin Stitt, signed Senate Bill 825. According to local ABC affiliate, KOCO News 5, the bill would make it more difficult for local governments to redirect or redistribute money meant for Law Enforcement:
“The bill will assure when local residents vote to increase their taxes for specific purposes – such as police department budgets – those funds are spent as intended, officials said. If they are redirected or reduced, this bill will ensure the matter is taken back to a vote of the people.”
The bill’s author, Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, was quoted saying the following:
“Our constituents deserve transparency for how their taxpayer dollars are spent. When citizens vote to increase their taxes, the funds should be used as specified. If they need to be used for another purpose, the matter should be brought to another vote of the people.”
Finally, Florida’s neighbor to the north has just passed its own legislation to ensure that the Defund movement does not gain any more momentum in that state. In April, the Georgia State Legislature passed House Bill 286. This comes after major cities, such as Atlanta, flirted with the idea of defunding its police departments. Fox News reports that the bill would:
“…prohibit county governments from decreasing a police department’s annual budget by more than 5% of the previous fiscal year’s funding. But it would also carry certain parameters as to when such limits might no longer apply. For instance, it would not apply if the county’s revenue that year decreased by more than 5%.”
Upon signing the bill at the beginning of May, Republican Governor, Brian Kemp, said:
“This far-left movement will endanger our communities and our law enforcement officers and leave our most vulnerable at risk.”
The implementation of laws like the ones passed in these four states is a crucial first step in combating the anti-Law Enforcement agenda being manipulated to restructure American society, because we are likely at just the beginning of the political attacks on law enforcement in this country.
And the deeper entrenched far-left politics and politicians become in local government, the more we are likely to see drastic and unsupported budget cuts to be implemented against law enforcement. While the road may prove to be a long one, these four states are paving the way for an essential resistance movement to radical politics and the preservation of Law & Order in America as we have known it.
Image Credit: Photo by Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash
The “Defund the Police” movement is a radical response, pushed by radical players. Here are some of the major metropolitan areas whose governments voted to “Defund the Police”.