Gov. Greg Abbott plans to announce a proposal related to police funding on Tuesday in Fort Worth.
The governor is holding a press conference at noon at the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
They will be joined by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Sens. Jane Nelson and Kelly Hancock and Reps. Charlie Geren, Craig Goldman, Stephanie Klick and Giovanni Capriglione.
Following George Floyd’s in-custody death in May, people across the country have called for defunding police departments. Major cities have seen months of racial justice protests to reiterate those calls.
Last week, the Austin City Council chopped $150 million from the Austin Police Department’s budget, roughly 34% of the department’s $434 million total budget.
Meanwhile, Abbott called the decision political.
“Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” Abbott said. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness. Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty. The legislature will take this issue up next session, but in the meantime, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stand in the gap to protect our capital city.”
Calls for defunding police departments have also reached Dallas and Fort Worth.
Last week, Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus answered those calls in a proposed budget plan which would boost community-based programs by $1.76 million and add $250,00 to after-school programs.
At a Dallas City Council meeting in June, callers asked elected officials to defund the police and reallocate the money towards community services.
On Aug. 7, Dallas City Manager, T.C. Broadnax told reporters that he wants to invest more in mental health services, while simultaneously keeping funding for the Dallas Police Department steady next year and increasing by $24 million in 2022.