If Gov. Greg Abbott follows through on his idea to have the state take over the Austin police department, would Texas be called a "police state?"
Would Austin cops be called the "state police?"
The Austin American-Statesman doesn't think too highly of Abbott's proposal.
"Texas has real problems," the newspaper said in an editorial. "Austin PD isn't one of them."
“Let’s get this straight," the editorial continued. "More than 25,000 Texans have died from a virus that is overwhelming hospitals in some parts of the state.
"Texas has the largest number of uninsured residents in the country, a staggering public health problem burdening hospitals and our state economy even before the pandemic came along," the paper declared.
"And when it comes to policing, a harsh new state report (from the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission) says the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is woefully ill-equipped to provide the training standards and rigorous oversight of peace officers that Texans deserve.
"Yet against this backdrop, Gov. Greg Abbott would have you believe the state’s most pressing public safety problem is … policing in Austin?"
The legislature will be dealing with the Texas budget, the pandemic and recovery from it, schools and education spending, redistricting and many other critical topics, the editorial said.
"Texans need for lawmakers to address these real challenges, not indulge Abbott in a gratuitous and costly stunt over the Austin police budget," the paper said. "The notion that the capital knows better than City Hall on police budget decisions is absurd and runs counter to the small-government conservatism Abbott has long preached."