Senators work to bring retiring elections guru back to help

The praises for longtime Clark County Elections Supervisor Tim Likness have made their way to the state Legislature, where some lawmakers are working on a way to allow Likness to oversee an upcoming election even after he retires in April.

Senate Bill 5383 would let county election department employees, such as Likness, work up to 60 post-retirement days without penalties to their state retirement plans. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, and also is sponsored by Sens. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, and Ann Rivers, R-La Center.

In Clark County, “you have an elections supervisor who’s been involved in elections for a 25, 30 year career who’s very good — really knows what they’re doing — and they’re retiring retiring, frankly, before they’ve been able to bring somebody totally up to speed,” Benton said during a Feb. 4 public hearing on the bill.

Benton continued by telling the Senate Ways and Means Committee that Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey requested the proposal because he wants Likness to come back to help in future elections.

“But he won’t do it because it destroys his retirement,” Benton said. “He’s not allowed to do it.”

Benton said he’d be open to an amendment that would prevent Likness from receiving a higher salary than what he earns this year.

The bill hasn’t been scheduled for a committee vote, and the deadline for bills to pass out of committee in their house of origin is Friday.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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