The Indiana Senate thoroughly rejected legislation Monday that would have tied the hands of local governments when managing their public safety budgets.
The bill was a reaction to the “defund the police” movement.
Sen. Mike Bohacek’s (R-Michiana Shores) measure would have prevented local governments from reducing public safety budgets any more than the overall revenue loss they expect. Bohacek said it also would’ve blocked locals from shifting more than five percent of their public safety budget to other departments during the fiscal year.
“This bill is not an anti-Black Lives Matter bill," Bohacek said. "This bill is a way to put some semblance of consistency into our local governments for our constituents.”
But several senators said the bill unnecessarily tied the hands of local leaders. Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) used to serve on the Fort Wayne City Council.
“I don’t think we should be putting this type of restriction currently on our local government budgets,” Brown said.
Only nine senators voted in favor of the bill; 37 voted against it.