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Commission votes to end lawmakers’ special pension perk

An Idaho citizens commission voted to close a loophole through which longtime state lawmakers who work briefly in high-paying state jobs at the end of their careers get full lifetime pensions as if they’d been full-time state employees all along.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports the vote came Thursday. Commission chairman Reed Larsen noted that two years ago, he said the retirement perk – which lawmakers enacted as a special exemption only for themselves in 1990 – “didn’t pass the smell test.”

The commission’s decision holds unless rejected by the Legislature via concurrent resolution. Such a move would need to happen before the 25th day of the legislative session.

The six-member commission includes three members appointed by the governor and three appointed by the Idaho Supreme Court, meaning it represents both the executive and judicial branches of Idaho’s government.

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