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Some say public officials serving time shouldn't receive pensions

Texas government officials convicted on corruption charges are still eligible to collect public pensions, but not everyone thinks they should be able to benefit from their retirement. Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, authored Senate Bill 14 that includes a provision that would prohibit convicted criminal lawmakers from receiving their pension benefits.

Jackie Wang of The Texas Tribune found several “former elected officials with prior felony convictions who are potentially collecting retirement payouts.” In an email exchange with The Texas Tribune, Taylor said the idea that criminal politicians continue to receive government pensions while serving time is “appalling.”  

Some people are questioning if the bill itself is ethical, however. Is it fair to limit a person's retirement benefits if the crime was not related to the government official's duties? Although a person cannot collect Social Security while in prison, other retirement benefits of private citizens are not revoked if they are convicted of a crime.

And consider this: A veteran receiving retired military pay while in prison also is able to collect federal pensions, but with some exceptions, according to Miltary.com.  Veterans who are convicted of disloyalty to the United States such as espionage, treason, and sabotage can lose their benefits. In other words, the charges must be related to their service to be revoked.

Some say the same should be for government officials – only revoke benefits if criminal convictions are related to the public official's office. What do you think?

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