A bill in the North Carolina house would prohibit state employees from receiving retirement benefits if they are convicted of a felony. The measure would apply only to those who are convicted of a crime that took place while working for the state. The crime would also have to be directly related to the individual's office or employment. Republican Representative Julia Howard of Mocksville is one of the bill's sponsors. She says she and others hope a penalty would prevent some crimes from being committed:
"Frequently, you pick up the newspaper and you see where a teacher or a state employee is charged and convicted of a felony, and it involves students."
Under the bill, a state employee who is not vested in the retirement system would receive his or her contributions back with interest, but that person would not receive any retirement benefits. Vested employees would not be allowed to count their years of service after the date of the crime. The bill passed its second reading with bipartisan support and remains on the House calendar.