State Watch

Georgia governor signs bill barring large cuts in police budgets

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill on Friday which prohibits cities and counties from making large cuts to their police budgets, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The legislation bars cities and counties from reducing their law enforcement budgets by more than five percent in a span of five years. 

Kemp said during a signing ceremony at a gun range that “radical movements” were the reason why he signed the bill into law. 

“Radical movements like the ‘defund the police’ movement seek to vilify the men and women who leave their families every day and put their lives on the line to protect all Georgians,” Kemp said, according to the Journal-Constitution. “This far-left movement will endanger our communities and our law enforcement officers and leave our most vulnerable at risk.” 

Opponents of the bill argue it takes control away from local governments and lets state lawmakers dictate to local elected officials how to spend their money, according to the Journal-Constitution. 

A number of states have considered measures limiting the ability of cities to cut police budgets after demonstrators in racial justice protests began rallying around the phrase “defund the police.”

No local government in Georgia has gone through with proposals to reduce police funding. Atlanta and Athens officials had considered making changes but decided not to, according to the Journal-Constitution.

This comes as the Atlanta’s Civil Service Board last week reinstated former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, who was charged in the killing of Rayshard Brooks last summer and then terminated from the department.

The Hill has reached out to Kemp’s office for comment.

Tags Atlanta Brian Kemp Georgia Rayshard Brooks

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