Friday, March 6, 2009

State Rep. Annie Hornish backs bills protecting taxpayers

State Representative Annie Hornish (D-Granby), who represents the towns of Barkhamsted, East Granby, Granby and New Hartford in the Connecticut General Assembly, is sponsoring legislation that takes aim at securities fraud and excessive executive pay by companies receiving state assistance.
Hornish is backing a bill (HB5922) being considered by the Commerce Committee that would require companies seeking state assistance to agree to cap top executive pay at no more than 25 times its lowest paid employee in annual compensation. Under the “Commitments of Responsible Corporations” legislation, companies would also be prohibited from discontinuing any pension program currently in place.
“Taxpayers fund hundreds of millions of dollars in state grants, loans and tax credits for private companies to encourage economic growth,” Hornish said. “In exchange for state aid, there should be an expectation that these companies adhere to ethical business practices.”
Hornish is also supporting legislation (HB6339) that would allow the state to immediately seize the assets of anyone arrested for securities fraud, such as the recent Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Under current state law, someone arrested for soliciting a prostitute in a vehicle can lose their car; someone selling drugs out of their home can have their home seized.
“We seize the assets of drug dealers and ‘johns’ but a Bernie Madoff can stay in his penthouse apartment after defrauding clients out of hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars,” Hornish said. “The class bias exemplified by the lenient treatment of white collar criminals must be addressed. Seizing the assets of crooked money managers makes it more likely there will be some money left to satisfy a judgment for victims.”


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