Broad coalition forms to oppose Austin ballot measure that could bankrupt the city

Dark blue text in red-bordered circle reads: No way on Prop A

Some 115 organizations—including the Texas AFL-CIO, which Texas AFT is affiliated with—have joined to oppose Proposition A, an Austin ballot measure that would use a “random number” to specify how many police officers should be hired.

While the Prop A measure is Austin-specific, a recent law passed by the Legislature in the spring could make similar ballot measures in other cities a significant threat to city budgets and operations statewide. That law prohibits many municipalities from ever decreasing the amounts budgeted to policing, meaning that if cities are forced to hire exorbitant levels of officers, they can’t legally make adjustments to lower them.

Prop A mandates the city hire 2 police officers for every 1,000 residents, a number police officials called “meaningless” and “random.” (Austin currently is at 1.8 officers per thousand.) City officials estimate the measure would cost from $50 million to $120 million a year, forcing cuts to other services like paramedics and firefighters. Austin passed a record-high police budget this year and initiated two new training academies to address staffing shortages.

You can find out more about the fight against this harmful ballot measure at No Way on Prop A.

Pol. Adv. Paid for by Texas AFT