Two state representatives are taking aim at elected officials and public employees who committed felonies during their time in office. The bills represent a great step forward towards bringing more accountability and integrity in government.

Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) and Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano) take similar action if with different details.

Rep. Taylor’s HB 2653 allows a contract with a public employee to have a special provision that automatically cancels their eligibility for pension payments if they are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. The only way they would be eligible to be re-instated into the retirement system is if they are later found innocent.

Meanwhile, Rep. Johnson’s HB 246 requires the felony to involve bribery, embezzlement, theft of public money, extortion, or perjury. To become ineligible, an employee would have to commit one of those crimes while acting in their official capacity. An employee whose conviction is overturned would also be able to receive retirement benefits again under this bill as well.

These bills exemplify the type of integrity that Texans demand from their public employees. We’ve included HB 246 and HB 2653 on our list of priority bills as such.

Dustin Matocha is the Social Media Coordinator for Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

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Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.