Bill Text: TX SB500 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to the effect of certain felony convictions of public elected officers.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 79-20)

Status: (Passed) 2017-06-06 - Effective immediately [SB500 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB500-Enrolled.html
 
 
  S.B. No. 500
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the effect of certain felony convictions of public
  elected officers.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 810, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 810.002 to read as follows:
         Sec. 810.002.  CERTAIN ELECTED OFFICIALS INELIGIBLE FOR
  RETIREMENT ANNUITY. (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Governing body of a public retirement system" and
  "public retirement system" have the meanings assigned by Section
  802.001.
               (2)  "Qualifying felony" means any felony involving:
                     (A)  bribery;
                     (B)  the embezzlement, extortion, or other theft
  of public money;
                     (C)  perjury;
                     (D)  coercion of public servant or voter;
                     (E)  tampering with governmental record;
                     (F)  misuse of official information;
                     (G)  conspiracy or the attempt to commit any of
  the offenses described by Paragraphs (A)-(F); or
                     (H)  abuse of official capacity.
         (b)  This section applies only to a person who is:
               (1)  a member of the elected class of the Employees
  Retirement System of Texas as described by Section 812.002(a)(1) or
  (2); or
               (2)  otherwise eligible for membership in a public
  retirement system wholly or partly because the person was elected
  or appointed to an elected office.
         (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), a member of a
  public retirement system is not eligible to receive a service
  retirement annuity under the retirement system if the member is
  convicted of a qualifying felony committed while in office and
  arising directly from the official duties of that elected office.
         (d)  The retirement system, on receipt of notice of a
  conviction under Subsection (e) or (k), any similar notice of a
  conviction of a qualifying felony from a United States district
  court or United States attorney, or any other information that the
  retirement system determines by rule is sufficient to establish a
  conviction of a qualifying felony, shall suspend payments of a
  service retirement annuity to a person the system determines is
  ineligible to receive the annuity under Subsection (c). A person
  whose conviction is overturned on appeal or who meets the
  requirements for innocence under Section 103.001(a)(2), Civil
  Practice and Remedies Code:
               (1)  is entitled to receive an amount equal to the
  accrued total of payments and interest earned on the payments
  withheld during the suspension period; and
               (2)  may resume receipt of annuity payments on payment
  to the retirement system of an amount equal to the contributions
  refunded to the person under Subsection (f).
         (e)  Not later than the 30th day after the conviction of a
  person of a qualifying felony, the governmental entity to which the
  person was elected or appointed must provide written notice of the
  conviction to the public retirement system in which the person is
  enrolled. The notice must comply with the administrative rules
  adopted by the public retirement system under Subsection (j).
         (f)  A member who is ineligible to receive a service
  retirement annuity under Subsection (c) is entitled to a refund of
  the member's service retirement annuity contributions, including
  interest earned on those contributions.  A refund under this
  subsection is subject to an award of all or part of the member's
  service retirement annuity contributions to a former spouse,
  including as a just and right division of the contributions on
  divorce, payment of child support, or payment of spousal
  maintenance or contractual alimony or other order of a court.
         (g)  Benefits payable to an alternate payee under Chapter 804
  who is recognized by a qualified domestic relations order
  established before the effective date of this subsection are not
  affected by a member's ineligibility to receive a service
  retirement annuity under Subsection (c).
         (h)  On conviction of a member for a qualifying felony:
               (1)  a court may, in the same manner as in a divorce or
  annulment proceeding, make a just and right division of the
  member's service retirement annuity by awarding to the member's
  spouse all or part of the community property interest in the annuity
  forfeited by the member; and
               (2)  a court shall, if the member's service retirement
  annuity was partitioned or exchanged by written agreement of the
  spouses as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 4, Family Code, before
  the member's commission of the offense, award the annuity forfeited
  by the member to the member's spouse as provided in the agreement.
         (i)  Ineligibility for a service retirement annuity under
  this section does not impair a person's right to any other
  retirement benefit for which the person is eligible.
         (j)  The governing body of a public retirement system shall
  adopt rules and procedures to implement this section.
         (k)  A court shall notify the retirement system of the terms
  of a conviction of a person convicted of an offense described by
  Subsection (c).
         (l)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if
  the spouse of a member convicted of a qualifying felony is convicted
  of the felony as a party to the offense as defined by Section 7.01,
  Penal Code, or of another qualifying offense arising out of the same
  criminal episode as defined by Section 3.01, Penal Code, the spouse
  forfeits the member's service retirement annuity and service
  retirement contributions to the same extent as the member.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 601, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 601.011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 601.011.  VACANCY ON FINAL FELONY CONVICTION OF MEMBER
  OF LEGISLATURE, GOVERNOR, OR STATE ELECTED OFFICIAL. A member of
  the legislature, the governor, or a state elected official
  convicted of a felony vacates the member's, governor's, or
  official's office on the date the conviction becomes final.
         SECTION 3.  Article 42.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Section 12 to read as follows:
         Sec. 12.  In addition to the information described by
  Section 1, the judgment should reflect affirmative findings entered
  pursuant to Article 42.0196.
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 42, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 42.0196 to read as follows:
         Art. 42.0196.  FINDING REGARDING OFFENSE RELATED TO
  PERFORMANCE OF PUBLIC SERVICE. (a)  In the trial of an offense
  described by Section 810.002, Government Code, the judge shall make
  an affirmative finding of fact and enter the affirmative finding in
  the judgment in the case if the judge determines that the defendant
  is:
               (1)  a member of the elected class described by Section
  810.002(b)(1), Government Code, while a member of the Employees
  Retirement System of Texas; or
               (2)  a holder of an elected office for which the
  defendant wholly or partly became eligible for membership in a
  public retirement system.
         (b)  A judge who makes the affirmative finding described by
  this article shall make the determination and provide the notice
  required by Section 810.002(k), Government Code.
         SECTION 5.  Section 810.002, Government Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to a member of a public retirement system who
  holds or has held elected office and, on or after the effective date
  of this Act, commits an offense that is a qualifying felony as
  defined by that section. A person who commits a qualifying felony
  before the effective date of this Act is subject to the law in
  effect on the date the offense was committed, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section,
  an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if
  any element of the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 500 passed the Senate on
  February 8, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 22, 2017, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 500 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 15, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 141,
  Nays 0, one present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor
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