SB 13 by Senate Retirement Committee Chairman Butch Gautreaux has been given final approval by the legislature. It is now waiting for Governor Jindal’s signature. The measure provides that the pension or retirement benefit of an elected official or other public servant may be garnished or seized to pay any fine or restitution imposed as a penalty for the conviction of a felony associated with his/her office. The bill maintains provisions in the current law that provide for the protection of a spouse’s community property interest in the public retirement system or pension benefit of a member affected by the garnishment or seizure.
The proposal would apply to 13 different state and statewide systems, including the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System (LASERS), the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL), the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System (LSERS), and the State Police Pension and Retirement System. The LASERS Board of Trustees voted to support the bill, which it does not raise the federal constitutional issues presented by forfeiture bills filed this session.