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Indiana Senate Rejects Bill Banning 'Defund The Police'

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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.”

READ MORE: What’s Driving This Moment In Indiana: Protest Organizers Discuss Demands For Change

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.

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

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.