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Senate panel approves severance pay restriction, search and rescue exemption

Senate panel approves severance pay restriction, search and rescue exemption

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 16, 2010
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
Author Image
March 16, 2010

The Idaho Senate Commerce and Human Resources approved two proposals Tuesday from Democrats that received broad support in the House.

One would prevent state agencies from paying large bonuses into state employees' retirement account as a form of severance pay.  "The state of Idaho has a very strong severance policy," Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise told the Senate panel Tuesday.  "We don’t pay severance pay.”  The proposal would close a loophole that allowed state agencies to put additional money in their personal account in the Public Employees Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI).

“It’s time that we eliminated the practice of golden parachutes for some state workers,” said Rep. Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City.  The House approved the the measure 64-0 March 11. The Senate committee agreed to put the legislation on their consent calendar, which means it will likely receive a unanimous vote in the Senate without debate.

A second proposal would give volunteer search and rescue workers immunity from liability while on an operation. “The purpose of this bill is to thank them for their help, so that they can do their job a little easier and sleep a little better,” said Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise. The House approved the search and rescue bill on a 63-0 vote March 11.

Both pieces of legislation now face a Senate vote. The text of Pasley-Stuart's legislation is available here, and Killen's legislation is available here.

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