In case our readers were wondering – Rep. Chris Turner's bill to ban “double dipping” got a hearing but never got out of the House Pensions Committee. Apparently, the Republican-controlled committee didn't consider preventing state officials from collecting retirement while still working important. The ridiculous loophole gained national attention when in December 2011, Rick Perry invoked the provision to increase his take-home pay by more than $90,000 per year.
“At this Capitol we frequently tout Texas as a national example for fiscal responsibility. This legislation helps us make that case more credibly, I think, by barring elected officials from being paid twice by our state taxpayers for one job,” Rep. Turner when the bill received a hearing. “It's situations such as this – collecting a pension without retiring – that makes Texans cynical about politics and angry that politicians could ever receive such a lucrative perk that most families could never dream of for themselves.”
It's also our Legislature's unwillingness to pass common-sense legislation like this that makes Texans cynical.