An Idaho citizen’s committee has voted overwhelmingly to close a pension loophole for state legislators.
The Idaho Press reports the loophole let part-time lawmakers briefly hold full-time state jobs before they retired and receive a full pension. It’s been a major perk for legislators, giving them much more pension money than they would have gotten if they were normal part-time state employees.
The committee was created by a constitutional amendment in 1976 to keep lawmakers from deciding on their own pay. In 1985, they started dispersing pensions to part and full-time state employees differently. Then in 1990, lawmakers created an exemption to that rule, applying only to themselves.
Attempts have been made to close the loophole by the legislature itself, but were voted down under concerns that it would violate the very amendment that created the committee.
During the same session that closed the pension loophole, the committee voted to give state lawmakers a 3 percent raise both next year and the year after.
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