Senate approves bill requiring vote of the people before removing police funding originally approved by citizens

Staff Report 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has given its approval to a measure to make sure local governments don’t ignore the will of their citizens when cutting police department budgets. 
Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, is the author of Senate Bill 825 which was approved on Monday (March 8).

Standridge said the concept is straightforward — if the citizens had previously approved a tax increase to fund public safety, the local government cannot redirect or reduce those funds without a second vote of the people.

“I think most Oklahomans are opposed to the idea of defunding police, particularly if they voted to provide additional funding for law enforcement,” Standridge said.

“This bill simply says if the public votes for a tax increase for public safety, then that funding cannot be cut or redirected without going back to those citizens for a vote before any changes are made. This legislation is aimed at making sure the will of those voters is honored.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. If signed into law, it would take effect on Nov. 1, 2021.