Legislation to be a powerful deterrent against heinous acts of violence against minors

PHILADELPHIA, October 7, 2011 – State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila.) today introduced legislation that would keep state and municipal workers who are convicted of a sex crime against a minor from collecting their public pension. Senate Bill 1290 would amend the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act and is companion to legislation introduced by state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Phila./Mont.) and State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Phila.).

“It is sickening to think that a state or municipal worker could be convicted of a sex crime against a minor, retire and then collect their public pension. Simply put, this is about protecting our children and keeping our neighborhoods safe,” said Sen. Farnese. “All acts of violence against minors should be severely punished, and this legislation strengthens the consequences of awful acts of violence by hitting those convicted hard in the pocketbook.”

Current Pennsylvania law contains provisions that bar public officials and employees who are convicted or plead guilty/no defense to crimes related to their employment from receiving retirement and benefit payments. But there are no provisions that call for the same punishment if an employee commits a crime against a minor, requiring them to register under Megan’s law.

Megan’s Law is a federal law that authorizes states to establish their own procedures for registering sex offenders. In Pennsylvania information about registered sex offenders is available to the public through the internet. The law was inspired by the case of seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who moved across the street from her family.

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Senator Larry Farnese was elected to the Senate in 2008 to represent Pennsylvania’s First Senatorial District which contains some of Philadelphia’s most unique and vibrant neighborhoods from Port Richmond on the Delaware River to Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River and South Philadelphia, Center City, the Navy Yard, Philadelphia International Airport. Senator Farnese serves as the Democratic Chair of the Communications and Technology Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee, the Law and Justice Committee and the Judiciary Committee. His District Office is located at 1802 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA (ph: 215-952-3121) and his Harrisburg Office is located at 543 Main Capitol in Harrisburg, PA (ph: 717-787-5662). More information about the Senator and his initiatives is available at www.senatorfarnese.com.