House Speaker Scott Bedke and other leaders want legislators to be the only part-time officials to receive full-time retirement benefits. Legislators do not make retirement system contributions to receive full-time benefits. Therefore, the full-time benefits are “unfunded” and paid for by taxpayers. For ex-legislator Dean Cameron, this is $1 million more than his part-time counterparts. Furthermore, Speaker Bedke agrees that a law passed by the Legislature to give Cameron this $1 million gift was unconstitutional.

Moreover, and to add insult to injury, Bedke believes legislators have some sort of property right (his words, not mine) to these full-time benefits. Really! He wants us to believe that taxpayers owe this unfunded and unconstitutional benefit to legislators.

The big question is, “If the legislators don’t get this perk, are they going to sue the citizens?” Oh, Bedke also wants us to believe that he and other leaders are not serving because of the money.

There is no reason for current legislators to receive this outrageous benefit. Please see Jim and Tom Haddock’s presentations to the 2016 and 2018 Citizens’ Committee on Legislative Compensation (written form or audio/visual video) at the Idaho Legislative Services Office website.

Tom Haddock, Star, Idaho

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