On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will lay out his public safety priorities in a roundtable with many law enforcement participants.
The discussion is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. inside the Texas Department of Public Safety building in Austin. The roundtable will be streamed live in this article.
Policing has become a priority for officials and activists alike after George Floyd died at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020.
While activists have been protesting police budgets in cities across the state, Abbott has touted legislation that would dismantle reform efforts.
After the City of Austin reduced its police budget, the governor proposed a new state law that would freeze property tax levels for any city that reduces its law enforcement budget for any reason.
The governor has also been said to consider legislation that would allow the state to take over the Austin Police Department, controlling its operations and budget decisions at the city’s expense.
The heavy-handed approach is an unusual step for a governor who typically brands himself as a conservative who favors smaller government, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg noted.
“Is it any surprise that the so-called ‘small government’ bureaucrats in Austin are playing Big Brother again,” Nirenberg previously told KSAT.