Legislation that would create a public registry of offenders found guilty of embezzling or misappropriating public funds is heading to the desk of Governor Tate Reeves.
The Mississippi House of Representatives on Tuesday passed SB 2420, authored by Senator Jeremy England, R-Vancleave, with the goal of cracking down on the corrupt handling of public money in Mississippi.
This morning, the MS House passed my Public Fund Offender Registry Bill (SB2420). This bill will create a registry that will contain names of all criminals convicted of stealing public funds, and no person on the list can work in government positions that handle money. pic.twitter.com/frNItADFDK
— Senator Jeremy England, MS51 (@JeremyEnglandMS) March 7, 2023
The bill would direct the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to create and maintain the public registry. Those found guilty of misspending taxpayer or ratepayer money at the state level down to the municipal level will be put on the registry.
Anyone added to the list will remain on it until the state or municipality is reimbursed for the improperly used funds and will be prohibited from holding certain positions within local government departments.
State Auditor Shad White, who has been responsible for uncovering major fraud cases in Mississippi, including the largest public fraud scheme in state history, praised the legislation upon its inception. He claims it as a victory for taxpayers.