PHOENIX — A House panel voted Monday to ask voters to bar cities from cutting funding for police and sheriffs or risk losing state aid.

Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake, said the move is designed to blunt — and outright prohibit — calls to “defund the police” and instead use some of the dollars on alternatives to sworn officers. He said experiments like that in places like Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., have shot crime rates sharply higher in those cities.

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