AUSTIN – Today, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB 2037 authored by State Representative Charlie Geren and sponsored by Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, a bill that relates to compensation for certain peace officers. HB 2037 ensures that Attorney General peace officers are compensated at the equivalent rank of other state police officers.
The Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Division and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit currently consist of 167 commissioned peace officers that are compensated under Schedule B of the General Appropriations Act and are classified as Investigators III-VII, Managers III-IV, and Directors I-II. HB 2037 provides that these peace officers are paid according to the Class C salary schedule, which governs commissioned law enforcement positions.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“I am pleased Governor Abbott signed into law this measure that addresses the inequality in compensation of officers employed by the Attorney General. The duties of the Attorney General’s law enforcement division include important tasks of conducting criminal investigations, apprehending fugitives and internet predators, and providing assistance to law enforcement.
Yet, the Attorney General state police officers are compensated at approximately $20,000 less than the equivalent rank of other state police officers. I am proud that we addressed this disparity among our state law enforcement officers.”
Under HB 2037, commissioned peace officers within the Office of Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Division and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit would be classified as Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and Majors under Schedule C. HB 2037 also allows the attorney general peace officers to qualify for hazardous duty pay and injury leave.
The Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Division is comprised of several components that conduct complex investigations that other agencies do not have the expertise or resources to investigate. These specialized units include: Cyber Crimes, Computer Forensics, Fugitive Apprehension, and Special Investigations. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes criminal fraud by Medicaid providers, physical abuse and criminal neglect at Medicaid-funded healthcare facilities, and the embezzlement of funds. In the past decade, the unit obtained about 1,400 criminal indictments and recovered approximately $1.2 billion taxpayer dollars, about half of which was returned to General Revenue.
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa serves as the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in the 84th Texas Legislature. Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development, Criminal Justice, Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs as well as the Legislative Budget Board (LBB), and the Sunset Advisory Commission.