Idaho state agencies have spent more than $125,000 in the past six months to boost the retirement accounts of three departing employees, including one agency director - though Idaho state law bans all severance payments to state employees who leave voluntarily. Gov. Butch Otter's administration maintains the payments don't violate the severance ban because the state paid the money to the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, rather than directly to the employees. But at a time when many state workers are being hit hard by budget cuts, furloughs and layoffs, lawmakers and a state employee association are upset about the move, and have questions both about its legality and its fairness. You can read my full story here from today's Spokesman-Review.