Thursday, February 14, 2008

Benefit Forfeiture Bill hits roadblock during House Debate

House Bill 48, which would require the forfeiture of retirement benefits for public pension members convicted of felonies related to their official duties, was returned to the calendar at the request of Representative Hunter Greene (R-Baton Rouge), the author of the bill.

“We have a limited amount of time during this special session, and I request the bill be returned to the calendar,” Greene said, after extensive debate that centered on the feasibility of denying retirement benefits to public employees who have earned them.

Prior to being withdrawn, HB 48 was amended to require, among other things, that the proposed constitutional amendment could not go before a vote of the people without accompanying legislation defining the conditions under which retirement benefits would be denied to public pension members convicted of job-related felonies. The amendment, by Rep. Hollis Downs (R-Ruston), gave the legislature a deadline of August 1, 2008, to enact any such accompanying legislation.

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