The Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) erected two billboards warning travelers against entering the "defunded" Austin City. The billboards went up on interstate 35 after Austin city council voted to slash the police budget by $150 million. Part of the cuts totaling about $21.5 million will take effect immediately. The city council will divert the cash towards other social services.
"Warning! Austin defunded police. Enter at your own risk!" the first billboard reads.
"Limited support next 20 miles," the other one reads.
The billboards were accompanied by a Twitter campaign dubbed #BackTheBlue to remind Texans that Austin was a defunded city.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick described the billboards as "great new billboards" while Gov. Greg Abbott shared the #BackTheBlue tweet. The Lieutenant Governor also criticized the city council for "ignoring public safety" and making the "dangerous decision."
Gov. Abbott created a pledge for Texas candidates to sign promising to fight against the defunding the police.
"Defunding our police departments would invite crime into our communities and put people in danger," Abbott's pledge reads. "That is why I pledge to support any measure that discourages or stops efforts to defund police departments in Texas."
Abbott also intends to freeze property taxes for cities that defund their police departments.
"Any city that defunds police departments will have its property tax revenue frozen at the current level," Abbott said. "They will never be able to increase property tax revenue again if they defund police."
Austin Mayor Steve Adler defended the reallocation of the police budget, claiming that the changes will benefit the overall safety of the city.
"This budget responds to concerns expressed all over the community and embodies our values as a city. New investment is focused on the underlying causes of crime," Mayor Adler claimed.
However, TMPA described the act as a "political stunt by the city council pandering to the radical left, will do nothing but endanger the people of Austin."
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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