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City Officials Urged to Ask Legislators to Oppose Bill Banning Severance Payments

Posted By GayDawn Oyler, Monday, February 4, 2019

City Officials Urged to Ask Legislators to Oppose Bill Banning Severance Payments

Legislation that would prohibit cities and other local governments from paying severance to their employees will be up for hearing soon in the House Commerce & Human Resources Committee.

House Bill 41 is sponsored by Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, and provides: “Upon termination from service, no public employee shall be eligible for severance pay, and no public employer shall provide or pay severance pay to a public employee or former employee.”

The AIC Board of Directors is joining with the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Association of Counties in opposing House Bill 41.  The bill would remove a vital tool that local governments need to manage their employees. 

It is relatively common for city administrators and city managers to negotiate severance provisions in their contracts, which makes sense because there are relatively few of these jobs in Idaho and job openings in these areas occur infrequently. 

While legislators have expressed concern about the cost of severance pay, it is clear that paying severance is often less expensive than a local government going to court to defend a wrongful termination case.   Paying severance is often the least expensive way of resolving personnel disputes.

House Bill 41 would put legislators in Boise in control of one of the most fundamental and important personnel decisions that need to be made locally. 

We ask city officials to contact members of the House Commerce & Human Resources Committee and respectfully ask that they oppose House Bill 41.  The committee members and their emails are listed below.

Rep. James Holtzclaw, Chair—jholtzclaw@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Neil A. Anderson, Vice Chair—nanderson@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Steven Harris—sharris@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Mike Kingsley—mkingsley@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Scott A. Syme—ssyme@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Chad Christensen—cchristensen@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Priscilla Giddings—pgiddings@house.idaho.gov

Rep. John Green—jgreen@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Tony Wisniewski—twisniewski@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Sue Chew—schew@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Chris Abernathy—cabernathy@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Jake Ellis—jellis@house.idaho.gov

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