(AP) — Voters have approved a change to the state’s constitution allowing judges to strip the pensions of any official convicted of corruption.
Tuesday’s vote in favor of the amendment will close a loophole that had allowed some lawmakers to keep their public pensions despite convictions for abusing their office.
A 2011 law allowed judges to revoke or reduce pensions of crooked lawmakers, but it didn’t apply to sitting lawmakers at the time. A constitutional amendment was needed to cover all lawmakers, no matter when they were elected.
More than 30 lawmakers have left office facing allegations of corruption or misconduct since 2000.
Some good-government groups had questioned whether the change will serve as much of a deterrent, since the threat of jail time has apparently done little to stem corruption.