The Idaho Senate has unanimously approved a bill that seeks to eliminate a little known taxpayer-funded retirement system. Known simply as the Supplemental Retirement System, House Bill 397 would repeal the retirement program devoted exclusively to the widows of Idaho governors and members of Idaho’s congressional delegation.
“In 1975 the Idaho Legislature was feeling especially generous,” said Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa. Lakey explained that the original bill creating the retirement program was signed by Democrat Gov. Cecil Andrus, yet only three years later legislation was passed to place limits on the funding of the program. The bill to limit the program was signed into law by Gov. John Evans.
“Somebody must have gone searching for useless and unnecessary code in our state, because that’s what we can say about the law that created this program,” Lakey told his Senate colleagues. He explained that the retirement system has not been operational for several decades and stated that “it is perfectly appropriate that we would now repeal this from Idaho Code.”
Lakey assured fellow senators, “In case anybody thinks today that we’re being overly insensitive or uncaring to elderly widows as we consider repealing this statute, you can relax. All of the elderly ladies who participated in this program in the past have all joined their husbands in the life hereafter, so we really truly don’t need this around anymore.”
The bill now goes to Gov. Butch Otter.