SANTA FE – The House on Saturday passed a bill to increase penalties for public officials convicted of corruption-related crimes, despite debate on whether the effort would unfairly treat low-level state employees like custodians.
Under House Bill 111, introduced by Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, state workers and elected officials would face as much as one year extra jail time for conviction on corruption-related felonies, such as embezzlement and receiving a bribe or kickback.
The bill would also allow the state to recoup as much as five times the amount of state money lost to corruption from an individual’s state pension and would prohibit individuals convicted of corruption from lobbying or contracting with the state for life.
The bill, which passed the House 41-26, had bipartisan support, but all 26 “no” votes came from Democrats. The measure moved on to the Senate.