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News >  Idaho

Woodings challenges Denney to quit his state pension

BOISE – Idaho secretary of state candidate Holli Woodings is calling on her GOP opponent, former House Speaker Lawerence Denney, to give up his state pension, in light of his comments at a live debate last week that he doesn’t believe elected officials should be on the state pension system.

“If we want a fair and honest person as our next secretary of state, that person should be willing to live under the same rules he or she wants everybody else to live under,” Woodings said.

Denney didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Woodings’ challenge, which she made in a news release.

As a longtime state lawmaker, Denney is entitled to a pension from the Public Retirement System of Idaho of roughly $500 a month. If he serves one term as secretary of state at the end of his career, his pension would jump to roughly $3,600 a month.

That’s because of a special provision for how longtime lawmakers’ years of service are counted if they take a high-paying state job late in their careers. Former House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, proposed legislation to do away with the perk in 2012, but Denney, then speaker of the House, killed the bill.

Denney spoke about the retirement issue during the “Idaho Debates” broadcast live statewide on Idaho Public Television last week. During his debate against Woodings, Denney said, “I think that it is a good idea to take all elected officials off the PERSI system.”

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