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Eye On Boise

PERSI COLA hearing canceled, Senate kills HCR 42

Senate Commerce Chairman John Andreason, R-Boise, left, and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, right, brief reporters along with Senate GOP spokesman Phil Hardy, center, about the decision Tuesday morning to cancel a scheduled 1:30 hearing on HCR 42, a bill to block a COLA for state retirees. The cancellation means the bill is dead, and retirees will get their scheduled 1 percent COLA. (Betsy Russell)
Senate Commerce Chairman John Andreason, R-Boise, left, and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, right, brief reporters along with Senate GOP spokesman Phil Hardy, center, about the decision Tuesday morning to cancel a scheduled 1:30 hearing on HCR 42, a bill to block a COLA for state retirees. The cancellation means the bill is dead, and retirees will get their scheduled 1 percent COLA. (Betsy Russell)

The hearing set for 1:30 on HCR 42, the measure to block a scheduled 1 percent COLA for state retirees, has been canceled - which means the bill is now dead. Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, chairman of the Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee, said, "It seemed like the thing to do - this was the best way to handle it." He added, "I have a lot of faith in the (PERSI) board. They've always done a good job. We're just following their recommendation."

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, said, "The leadership supports the chairman's decision, and the committee is, I think, going to be supportive of that action. This is going to be an issue we're not going to give any further time to in the Senate this legislative year." Andreason, who himself was a longtime state employee and is the former legislative budget director, said he's received "a very large number of emails and telephone calls," and all were against HCR 42. State and local government retirees gathered in a news conference on the Statehouse steps yesterday to protest the bill and call for its defeat.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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