Austin cuts police budget by 1/3 amid national ‘defund’ push



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Austin City Council has voted to cut one-third of the city’s $434 million police budget amid national calls for “defunding” law enforcement in favor of spending more money on social services. Council members voted unanimously Thursday to reallocate just over $150 million in the 2021 fiscal budget to social services. That budget starts Oct. 1. Of that, $21 million will fund community resources including response to the coronavirus pandemic, mental health aid programs, victim services and food, housing and abortion access in Octoboer. Approximately $80 million will be redistributed to similar city services over the year. Another $49 million will be spent on alternative forms of public safety and community support.