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Arizona House considers bill to prevent police defunding

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(The Center Square) – The Arizona House Rules Committee is scheduled to discuss legislation on Monday that would prevent cities from decreasing funding to their local police departments.

Rep. David Marshall, R-Snowflake, is the sponsor of House Bill 2120, and it has already passed the House Military Affairs & Public Safety committee in an 8-7 party-line vote this past Monday.

The bill would prevent a city or town from spending less than the amount it did the year prior for its “annual operating budget” for a “law enforcement agency.”

Several liberal-leaning cities have heard outcries to defund police departments following the George Floyd case in 2020, with some activists even wanting to completely scrap police departments. Although some cities did make changes, they did not gain a significant level of traction nationwide.

The Arizona State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police is marked down in favor of the bill, whereas groups like the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns as against the legislation.

There is an exception outlined in the bill is a municipality is struggling financially.

“The requirements of this section do not apply if the city or town does not have the monies required to continue the annual operating budget for a law enforcement agency at the same amount as the previous year,” the bill states in its introduced version.

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