Democratic House Co-Leader Evan Jenne on Monday said the Florida Legislative Black Caucus will not attempt to “defund the police” during the 2021 Legislative Session.
Jenne’s remarks come as the Florida Legislative Black Caucus prepares to unveil proposals aimed at addressing policing issues in Florida. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Jenne suggested law enforcement may receive additional resources under the rollout.
“When you look at a lot of … the proposals that are going to be included in this package that the Black Caucus rolls out over the next couple of days, it’s actually not going to be defunding the police,” Jenne said. “It’ s going to see an increase in funding for police.”
Moreover, Jenne said the caucuses’ intent is to “alleviate potential tension between the Black community throughout our state and all communities of color and the police department, to have it be less adversarial.”
Beyond the caucus, Jenne said defunding law enforcement is not on the radar of his Democratic colleagues.
“I have not heard a single one of our members say that the measures that they want to take will take money away from policing,” Jenne said. “No one is going to be in danger of seeing police shut down and crime run rampant. It’s just going to be a more modern approach to issues.”
Law and order remains a spotlight issue for lawmakers as they head into the 2021 Legislative Session.
Notably, Florida Republicans are pushing “anti-riot legislation” that seeks to stiffen penalties against rioters. It also challenges and penalizes cities that move to defund law enforcement.
“The bill has nothing to do with law and order in my personal opinion and it has everything to do with silencing potentially any critics that may think differently than they do,” Jenne said. “I think it’s a horrible bill, it’s a horrible idea, it sets a horrible precedent. There’s nothing good about HB 1.”
The 2021 Legislative Session begins March 2.