HARRISBURG (WPMT) — Pennsylvania lawmaker Scott Petri is tired of seeing crime pay for public employees.
Rep. Petri (R-178 Bucks County) introduced House Bill 17 to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, which would eliminate pensions for state employees and officials who were convicted or pleaded guilty to a felony or federal crime.
The bill passed unanimously Tuesday, and will move to the House floor where Petri expects it to meet little-to-no opposition.
"It's to send a message," Petri said. "You've worked hard for your pension. Don't do something stupid in conjunction with your job. It's basic common sense."
Crimes included in Petri's amendment are endangering the welfare of children and sexual assault. Petri estimates there are hundreds of state employees currently collecting pension benefits that would not be under his bill. HB17 would eliminate officials from collecting pensions if they accept a plea deal in court.
"My bill says if you plead guilty to a crime or a felony, or a federal offense which is a five year sentence," Petri said, "you lose your pension if it's connected to your job employment."