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Saturday, January 21, 2012

42 Months Magic PERSI Number For Idaho Legislators

I pulled the following out of the Idaho Freedom Foundation Pork Report for 2012.  Legislators can reap dramatic returns if they can get appointed to a full time job and here are some examples:

 December, former Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, took a post as head lobbyist of the University of Idaho, a post paying $124,000 annually.
If Stegner stays on the job at least 42 months, he can jump his public
pension at least tenfold. If Stegner had simply retired at the end of next
year – his 14th year in the Legislature – he would receive a pension
payout of about $373 per month, or a $4,480 annually.  If Stegner stays
with the school 42 months at his starting wage, his pension payout will
increase to approximately $3,410 a month, or $40,920 annually.

In June, former Rep. Debbie Field showed the other end of the problem
as she exited her post as the head of the Office of Drug Policy. Field,
who served 10 years in the Legislature, was paid $74,000 as head of the
office. She retired after 43 months in the position, barely clearing the 42-month
threshold. Had she retired when she lost her re-election race in 2006, her legislative
pension would have amounted to about $443 per month, or
approximately $5,316 a year. With her legislative and drug policy
months combined in the retirement system, her pension will be more
than four times higher at $1,921 a month, or $23,052 annually 

Former Sen. Pro Tem Bob Geddes will also get a spiked pension if he
stays on as chairman of the oversight board at the Idaho State Tax
Commission for more than 42 months. Gov. Butch Otter tapped Geddes
for the post, which pays $85,000 annually, in January. Geddes can
spike his pension by more than $2,500 a month – or more than $30,000
annually – if he meets the 42 month time threshold.

Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, in the past has introduced legislation to
end the practice and separate legislative service from timed worked in other areas under PERSI.

This could all be fixed but there is no support for Rep. Lake.  It seems pretty simple to THE GUARDIAN to computer a month of service as a month of service rather than the current practice of granting a full year of service for each session of the Idaho Legislature.


  1. Looks like this story may have convinced Geddes to long for his old job back.

  2. Fat cats take care of their own. What the hell is going on with the reapportionment effort? Delores Crow removed along with the other person. They screw around long enough we will be into the next census cycle.

    Also, why is the Governor so protective of the liquor dispensary? It is a leftover from prohibition that simply needs to go away.

  3. welcome to one party rule in the People's Republic of Idaho. I get the sense things are pretty much decided before the session starts. It is just a big party for three months legislators attend and it could all be done in a couple of weeks. I would like to see it go to every other year with a max of 90 days to get their work done.


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