New State Rep. Ryan Lauer, a Columbus Republican representing District 59, successfully got his first bill passed in the Indiana House of Representatives. The body voted unanimously in support of Lauers legislation imposing tougher penalties on government officials and employees who are convicted of stealing public funds.
Lauer says House Bill 1192 would require public servants who steal public funds to reimburse the stolen amount through their pensions, if they cannot pay the amount back themselves. Currently, a person cannot be required to use their pension to pay off debt, even if it would be used to repay stolen tax dollars.
Lauer says this bill would be an important deterrent to discourage officials from violating public trust. We need to protect taxpayers by ensuring offenders are held responsible when theft occurs, Lauer said. Many times, thieves spend the stolen money before they are caught. This legislation would help enable communities to get their public funds back even when offenders no longer have the money.