The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that would penalize counties that choose to Defund The Police.
The Iowa state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that penalizes cities and counties for cutting police budgets after the Black Lives Matter and “defund the police” movements last summer.
Iowa’s upper chamber approved a bill that cuts state funding to local governments if they reduce funding for law enforcement at a greater percentage than they decrease their overall budget. Forty-one senators, including 10 Democrats, voted in support of Senate File 479, which will now head to the state House.
Under the bill, cities and counties can appeal by providing reasoning for cutting police budgets, including a drop in one-time expenses or a population decrease. Any state funding cut for these local governments will not affect funding for law enforcement, the Des Moines Register reported.
Supporters of the bill assert that legislation is needed to combat the “defund the police” movement, while opponents worried that local officials would refrain from requesting funding for police initiatives to avoid needing to possibly raise their whole budget.
Minneapolis is planning to spend $6.4 million to hire dozens of police officers, at a time when some City Council members and activist groups have been advocating to replace the police department following George Floyd’s death.
The City Council voted unanimously Friday to approve the additional funding that police requested. The department says it only has 638 officers available to work — roughly 200 fewer than usual. An unprecedented number of officers quit or went on extended medical leave after Floyd’s death and the unrest that followed, which included the burning of a police precinct.
-This is powerful legislation to combat the “Defund The Police” movement.
-This bill had bipartisan support
-This bill would cut state funding to local governments that defund their police departments
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