Paid-leave bill to cover all public employees

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 31, 2011 7:20 AM

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A bill requiring university professors or teachers convicted of crimes to pay back any salary earned while on paid leave now includes all public employees.

The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved the amended bill Wednesday afternoon, and it will eventually go before the full Senate.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, said senators amended the bill because of its “demonizing” effect on teachers. Even in the realm of education, principals, superintendents, and deans were exempt under the original bill.

“If you believe this is the right path to take, it ought to apply equally to every public employee,” Quirmbach said. “Not just in the education area.”

By applying to all public employees, he said, he thinks the message is clear.

“Don’t misbehave; don’t commit crimes,” he said.

— by Emily Busse

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