State employees who are caught manipulating data could be convicted of a felony under legislation state representative Phil Phelps (D-49) plans to introduce. The legislation is aimed at preventing government corruption by making it a felony for any state employee to knowingly manipulate data that would change the outcome of an official report. The felony would be punishable by up to five years in prison.

“As we began to comb through all of the facts surrounding Flint’s water crisis it was frightening to learn that there were very few laws on our books that protect the public from potential government abuse such as data manipulation,” Phelps said in a statement. Lawmaker stated that he plans to introduce the bill at the end of January after the House of Representatives resumes session.