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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2016 12:56 PM
From: Representative Karen Boback
To: All House members
Subject: Public Employee Pension Forfeiture (Former House Bill 787)
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (formerly HB 787), an amendment to the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act. A substantially similar bill was passed by the House during the 2010-2011 Session by a vote of 201-0. House Bill 787 was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee last session by a vote of 26- 0.

Just like HB 787 from last Session, this bill amends the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act so that public employees and public officials who enter a plea of guilty, or are found guilty by a jury, will have to forfeit their pensions when they enter a guilty plea or when they are found guilty by a jury. This will end the practice of public officials or employees who have either admitted their guilt or have been found guilty by a jury of their peers from continuing to receive pension benefits even after their guilt has been established.

As in prior sessions, the bill adds a number of crimes to the list which trigger forfeiture. Those include crimes committed by public employees against our most vulnerable citizens: (1) the offense of neglect of care-dependent person; (2) the offense of institutional sexual assault; and (3) the offense of endangering welfare of children. Last session, the General Assembly enacted legislation to make the institutional sexual assault statute apply to schools and day care centers.

Just as with last session, I have added a provision which clarifies the term “student.” Under the bill, the term student means “an individual who is instructed by a school employee, supervised by a school employee, counseled by a school employee, or mentored by a school employee.”

This language was added to address school employees who may not be teachers but nevertheless are employed by a school and commit sexual offenses against students.

Additionally, this Session, I will add language to require forfeiture of a pension on the part of all public employees or public officials who commit a sex offense against a child. Currently, forfeiture only applies to sex offenses committee by school employees against students.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this significant legislation.

Introduced as HB526