Several months ago we wrote about lawmakers hiring "ghost workers" after several news sources brought the practice to light. Rep. Jim Jackson (R-Carrollton) was paying attention and has filed legislation aimed at ending this ponzi scheme.

Ghost Workers are former elected officials hired on by current legislators for pennies, often less than minimum wage, to provide a bevy of “services.” They are classified as full time employees. Though this might seem like a great value to Texas taxpayers, in reality it is costly as the newly employed officials continue to rack up costly state benefits.

According to Rep Jim Jackson former elected officials hired after they leave office perform little or no work stating further that, “This unethical practice should be stopped.” H.B. 212 filed on November 18 would close the loophole that allows the continued accrual of benefits equal to those received while in office, by updating Government Code.

Last session Rep. Jackson was named a Taxpayer Hero and with policies like this on his agenda it is clear why. Closing the loopholes embedded in our government’s inner workings is vital part of ensuring maximum utilization of tax dollars. We will be tracking H.B. 212 and other bills that affect our state’s bottom line in the upcoming session.

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Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.

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