January 20, 2021

Roundhouse Roundup – Today, Feb. 13, 2012 at 10:45am

Posted on 13. Feb, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Politics

What Might be Major Bill of Session to Pass Both Houses on House Floor Today?

Anti-Corruption Bill Passed Senate Unanimously last Thursday

SB 197 Felonies for Public Officials

Senator Bill Payne

Passed Senate 39 to 0, 17th Item on House Calendar today

Santa Fe— What might be one of the major bills of the session to pass both Houses is on the House Floor today. The State Senate has already unanimously passed SB 197, a bill to fine corrupt public officials who are guilty of a felony related to their public office. The Democratic Majority Leader of the House, Rep. Kenny Martinez is carrying  Senate Republican Whip Bill  Payne’s bill in the House.(R-Albuquerque)

Under this major anti-corruption bill,  SB 197- Felonies for Public Officials- corrupt officials could receive a fine and lose their benefits like their pensions if they are found guilty of a felony related to their public office.  In addition to a criminal trial, a separate trial would be held to determine the additional penalties to the basic criminal sentence. Those penalties may be increased by an additional fine not to exceed the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to the offender.

“Corrupt officials should lose their salaries and benefits when using their office for criminal activity,” Senator Payne said. “Public officials who violate the public trust should receive a greater punishment than just the basic sentence. Being fined the amount of their salary and benefits might make these corrupt officials think twice about violating corruption laws.”

Senate Bill 197 is an anti-corruption legislation that adds a new section to the Criminal Sentencing Act.   It imposes an additional fine not to exceed the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to the offender if the offender holds an elected public office and the conviction relates to the office held. The salary/ benefits calculation starts after the commission of the first act.

Senator Payne has sponsored similar bills for the past several years, but none of them has passed both Senate and House chambers to become law.

Earlier in the session today, Senate Minority Caucus Chair Steve Neville’s SB 53- A bill designed to remove any possible undue political influence that could lead to corruption on the State Investment Council- unanimously passed the Senate.

For more information, contact: 505/986-4702

- Editor

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