In 2011, Texans (and the rest of the country) learned that our state’s taxpayers pay Governor Perry not once, but twice, for doing the same job. Perry receives a $92,000 state pension on top of his $150,000 annual salary.
When I found out that “double dipping” by elected officials is legal thanks to an obscure loophole, I said the first bill I filed would be to ban this practice. I’ve yet to find anyone in Arlington or Grand Prairie who can simultaneously draw a salary and a pension for one job.
Even with support from across our state, top Republicans opposed the bill and prevented its passage.
If only I had known what a prominent Republican ally I had on this issue at the time.
Last week, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott announced that he, too, opposes double-dipping by politicians.
Oh really? I had to scratch my head when I heard this. Not once during the legislative session, including when House Republicans blocked its passage from committee, did Abbott indicate any interest, much less support, for this measure.
Now, Abbott certainly has no problem inserting himself into the legislative process. He pushed repeatedly for passage of discriminatory redistricting maps, telling members of the Legislature just days before session was set to end, “Don’t pack your bags…”
Politicians say lots of things on the campaign trail, especially when they’re running for higher office. It’s what they do while they are in office that really counts though – and when Greg Abbott had a chance to do something to ban double-dipping, the truth is, he did nothing.
I am not giving up on this, though. With your continued support, I will re-file this bill in the next legislative session. “Double dipping” is wrong and banning it is the right thing to do.