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Bill Would Ban Texas Officials' Future Double-Dipping
A bill filed Thursday in the Texas House of Representatives aims to hold elected officials accountable by stopping the practice of "double-dipping."
Governor Rick Perry caused a stir in 2011 when documents he filed while running for President revealed he was collecting more than $100,000 in state salary and more than $90,000 in state pension --simultaneously. Now one lawmaker wants to put a stop to the practice once and for all.
State Representative Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) is tackling pension problems.
"It's a matter of right and wrong," said State Representative Chris Turner.
Turner is talking about a legal loop hole -- dating back to 1991 -- that allows any elected state official to "double dip."
"It's simply not right that an elected official should be to collect a pension and pay check at same time for going one job," said Turner.
Texas Tribune Reporter Jay Root uncovered the obscure state law when Governor Rick Perry made a run for the White House.
"I've never heard of this existing in the public sector or private sector outside of Texas," said Root.
And unless an elected official -- like Perry -- makes a run for office outside of the state, the public has no right to know if that person is "double dipping."
"We don't know who else is doing it," added Root.
Which is why Tuner filed legislation seeking to bar that practice for good.
"I think people of Texas think it's wrong and want it to stop," said Turner.
And he's right.
"They're getting that double pay and it's totally not fair," said Marissa De La Rosa.
De La Rosa supports the bill. And she's not alone.
"No one else gets this privilege in society and in the working world," said Michael Orr.
Orr was blown away by the secret, state practice -- and backs HB 413 – 100 percent.
"I definitely support the legislation I think it's wrong that they do that. No doubt about it," said Orr.
And that is the kind of support Rep. Turner is counting on -- from both sides of the aisle.
Now that the bill has been filed, it will be up to the Speaker of the House to decide if it should go to a subcommittee for review and debate.
By Alex Boyer