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House GOP votes to stop 1 percent pension hike

Fri., Feb. 19, 2010, 2:14 p.m.

BOISE — The Republican-dominated House voted 48-19 to block Idaho government retirees from getting a 1 percent pension raise, saying it was necessary to protect the $10 billion fund.

Minority Democrats who voted against the resolution Friday argued GOP lawmakers were shortchanging retirees and ignoring professional advice of fund managers who said in December the increase was prudent.

The politically charged debate lasted more than half-hour, with Republican anger over the financial-industry meltdown on full display.

Rep. Fred Wood, a Republican from Burley, said he’d “seen what’s happened when we rely on experts from Wall Street. We’re in a big mess.”

Boise Democrat Phylis King argued the 1 percent increase would have virtually no impact on a hike in contributions of active government employees that’s planned for 2011.

It now goes to the Senate.



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