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Senate bill to create registry for those guilty of misspending public funds

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The Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson (Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News)

As Mississippi’s legislative session continues to pick up steam, one lawmaker is focusing on strengthening the law to punish those guilty of bribery and misspending government funds.

Senator Jeremy England, R-Vancleave, has introduced Senate Bill 2420 with the goal of cracking down on the corrupt handling of public money in Mississippi.

If passed, the bill would direct the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to create and maintain a public registry of offenders who were involved with embezzling or misappropriating public funds.

According to England, those found guilty of misspending taxpayer or ratepayer money at the state level down to the municipal level will be put on the registry. Those added to the list will remain on it until the state or municipality is reimbursed for the improperly used funds.

“They’re going to go on that registry and it’s going to help hold these individuals accountable that have proven themselves to not be trustworthy with our taxpayer dollars or ratepayer dollars,” England explained to the press. “You’re going to be on that registry until you pay your money back to the state, or back to your local community.”

The proposed legislation received praised from State Auditor Shad White, who has been responsible for uncovering major fraud cases in Mississippi, including the largest public fraud scheme in state history. In a statement released on social media, White praised state lawmakers involved in this bill for standing with Mississippi’s taxpayers.

“Our bill to strengthen the law against bribing a public official is picking up steam. Thank you to leadership in the Senate and House for standing with the taxpayers!” White stated.

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