The bill is an attempt by conservatives to stop those who want to reduce the size of police departments, sometimes to direct more funding to other social services that may not require a law enforcement intervention.
Democrats argued for increasing funding overall for local governments, saying budget challenges are what pressure communities to consider cutting police funding. They also argued that the state was attempting to interfere with local government decision-making and that the proposal would do nothing to keep communities safe.
“The solution is not for the Legislature to try to micromanage these municipal budgeting decisions,” Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer said prior to debate. “It’s to actually fund municipal budgets so our communities can make the investments in public safety we would all like to see.”
Spreitzer said the proposal was a “cynical” attempt to punish local governments.
“This bill is not serious,” Spreitzer said. “This bill is laughable.”
Republican backers say the bill would keep cities from indiscriminately cutting police and would keep communities safe.
“Fewer officers means when you are threatened, you wait longer to have someone come and help you out,” said Republican Speaker Robin Vos. “When police officers do their jobs, they prevent violence and that’s what we need more of in our society.”
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Originally Appeared Here