Ban On 'Defund The Police' Clears Senate Committee

Feb 8, 2021

The bill from Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores) is a reaction to calls to “defund the police” seen across the country over the last year. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Legislation that would tie the hands of local governments from shifting money away from public safety agencies easily passed a Senate committee.

Sen. Mike Bohacek’s (R-Michiana Shores) bill would prevent local governments from reducing public safety budgets any more than the overall revenue loss they expect. So, if expected revenue is down 10 percent, that’s the most a local government could cut from police and fire.

The measure is a reaction to calls to “defund the police” seen across the country over the last year.

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It also prevents locals from shifting more than 5 percent of their public safety budget to other departments during the fiscal year. That’s something Clarksville Town Manager Kevin Baity objects to.

“Oftentimes, we cannot fill positions in our police and fire," Baity said. "But yet, if we cannot reduce the funds, even though we don’t have the employees to spend that money on, we are wasting money that could have been spent in other departments.”

The bill passed the committee along party lines.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.