In 1990 the Idaho Legislature unconstitutionally passed an exemption for themselves from the law requiring part-time employees who later become full-time to use a split method of calculating state retirement. This allows those legislators who go on to a full-time position (usually governor’s appointees) to secure an additional unearned, lucrative retirement. This can often amount to a million more dollars over the person’s retirement.
Since that time efforts have been made by fair-minded legislators to remove this exemption, most recently in 2015. HB100 passed the House, but was held in committee in the Senate.
The arguments against removing the exemption are typically the following: First, that it would be unconstitutional for them to remove the exemption. The Attorney General’s office, however, said that HB100 was constitutional. Second, that this step could only be taken by the Legislative Compensation committee. The committee is not empowered to make laws, but in their last letter to the Legislature, directed them to remove the exemption.
With both arguments removed, the Legislature has no legitimate reason to keep this unconstitutional legislative retirement exemption.
Contact your representatives, particularly the senators, and tell them that this exemption is unfair, unethical and has to be removed.
Jim Haddock, Meridian