House bill would strip taxpayer-funded retirement from corrupt state lawmakers

House bill would strip taxpayer-funded retirement from corrupt state lawmakers

The bill adds extortion, perjury and racketeering to the list of offenses for which lawmakers would forfeit retirement and disability payments.

State lawmakers convicted on a variety of corruption charges would be ineligible to receive taxpayer-funded retirement benefits if a new bill becomes law in Columbus.

The following offenses would result in forfeiture of a future retirement or disability benefit for public officials under House Bill 741:

  • Extortion
  • Perjury
  • Racketeering
  • Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds
  • Interference with commerce by threats or violence in violation of the Hobbs Act
  • Mail, wire and honest services fraud

The bill was filed just days after a unanimous vote to remove House Speaker Larry Householder from his leadership role, after he was charged and arrested by federal authorities for an alleged $60 million racketeering conspiracy.

 “This legislation will hopefully set a precedent of holding public officials who misuse their power more accountable,” primary sponsor state Rep. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, said in a press release.

“Not only will it hold public officials more accountable, but it’s also about protecting the taxpayers. Their hard-earned money should not be paying for the benefits of an elected official who faces federal convictions.”

State Rep. Dave Greenspan, R-Westlake, is also a primary sponsor. The bill currently enjoys seven additional co-sponsors, including one Democrat: state Rep. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati.

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