HARRISBURG – Legislation to ensure that public employees, including lawmakers, who commit job-related felonies are stripped of their taxpayer-funded pension was unanimously approved today by the state Senate, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).
Senate Bill 113 would require pension forfeiture if an employee or official is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to any felony offense related to his or her employment. Currently, the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act requires a public employee to forfeit his or her pension only for certain crimes listed in the act. In practice, this law allows public employees charged with a forfeiture crime to plead guilty to a different non-forfeiture crime in order to avoid losing their pension.
In addition, the legislation ensures that criminal convictions involving public officials are reported to state pension boards. Current law does not require the employee, courts, or state agencies to send copies of court records upon conviction. Under Senate Bill 113, courts would now be required to notify state pension systems of all pension forfeiture cases.
“Rewarding bad behavior is something that cannot and should not be tolerated in state government or anywhere,” Sen. Yaw said. “It is time to hold those accountable who break the public trust.”
The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff