Politicians will no longer be allowed to collect salary, pension simultaneously
AUSTIN – Today, State Representative Chris Turner’s (HD 101- Grand Prairie) measure to bar elected officials from collecting a salary and state pension at the same time passed the final legislative hurdle and is headed to the governor’s desk.
“Today, the House and Senate sent a strong message to the people of Texas by banning the practice of ‘double dipping’ by elected officials,” said Turner. “This is an important step toward strengthening the public’s trust and faith in both elected officials and the laws under which we serve, and I am pleased that HB 408 is headed to the governor’s desk.”
“Three years ago, I made a promise to the people of the district I represent that I would close this loophole, and today I am one step closer to fulfilling that promise,” said Turner. “This is an important ethics reform, but more is needed. I look forward to continuing my work on this important issue during future legislative sessions.”
HB 408 will prevent state elected officials from being eligible to receive state annuity payments as a result of their service as an elected official by preventing their time as an elected official from triggering retirement eligibility until they have left office.
In addition to passing the ban on “double dipping”, a Turner provision requiring elected officials to report pension and other similar sources of income was added to another measure, HB 3736. This was a needed ethics reform tied to “double dipping” and will increase transparency by elected officials and candidates.
This issue came to light when it was reported that during his final term in office, Governor Rick Perry was collecting a state pension, in addition to his salary as governor. This was discovered after Perry filed a personal financial disclosure statement with the Federal Elections Commission as a requirement of his 2012 presidential candidacy. This type of information was not required to be submitted as a part of Texas’ personal financial statements, but now will be as a result of the passage of HB 3736.
The modifications are not retroactive, nor would they impact state retirees who become eligible for retirement benefits as a result of service in a non-elected capacity and then later run for and are elected to office.