Harris County Shifts Constables' "Rollover Funds" Ahead of Texas Defund Ban

In case you missed it, Harris County Democrats last month stripped local constables of an estimated $20 million in so-called "rollover funds" each precinct uses as a rainy-day savings account.

This was part of a plan Judge Lina Hidalgo pitched to purchase body cameras, pay for police overtime and to hire more prosecutors to eliminate a backlog of court cases she blamed for the recent spike in murders and violent crime.

“We cannot afford to have these savings accounts. We can't. We got to spend the money on tackling the rise in violent crime,” she said during a marathon commissioners court meeting June 29.

Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap argued his office depends on that money to fill positions and cover additional costs that crop up during the fiscal year.

“I had $52 million last year at this time. This time this year I have $44 million,” he said.

Community activist Larry Lipton says Democrats on Commissioners Court pulled another fast one on taxpayers.

“The legislature absolutely said there would be no defunding of police,” he says. “What the three bandits on commissioners court did is take it before the law started.”

“What you look at what they did without any public input. They took all the money away. They made it clear they could do whatever they want. There's nothing in their behavior that speaks to compromise,” Lipton added.

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