Legislature passes bill to create registry of people convicted of misusing public funds

Jeremy England
Sen. Jeremy England

Sen. Jeremy England’s bill to create a public registry of people convicted of embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds is headed to the governor.

“This is a bill I campaigned on when I first decided to run for this position, and I have worked with many of my colleagues in the Senate and House to get this legislation to the governor’s desk,” England said in a post on his Facebook page. “This is a huge win for Mississippi taxpayers, and it gives us an added layer of accountability and further safeguards our public funds.”

SB 2024, known as the Public Fund Offender Registry Bill, passed the House on Monday. It would prohibit local governments from hiring people on the registry for positions in accounting, treasury or registrar offices, or any office where money is collected or received directing from rate or fee payers.

The registry will require anyone convicted by guilty plea, no contest plea or found guilty by a jury of a crime involving public funds.

The Department of Public Safety will post the registry accessible to the public by July 1, 2024, and include the offenders full name, any aliases, online identifiers and the offender’s date of birth.

Offenders can be removed from the registry once all fines, penalties and restitution have been paid and proof of repayment has been provided to the Department of Public Safety after a period of five years from conviction or five years from prison release, whichever is the latter.

The registry applies only to state convictions, not federal.

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