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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Former Gov. Chris Gregoire is benefiting from old state pension rules that ended in 1977.

The Olympian (http://is.gd/rlfinz ) reports Gregoire receives a pension of $159,608, the most of any retiree from state government. She benefits from an old rule that gave elected officials a special deal on retirement. She was eligible because she began working in state government a long time ago.

Gregoire served two terms as governor and three terms as attorney general, plus another 20 years working in state government before being elected.

She says she learned of the special benefits when she became governor in 2005. And was surprised because she believes everyone should be treated the same. Lawmakers closed the special plan for long-time retirees in 1977, but lawmakers felt it would have been legally questionable to change benefits for employees already in the plan, like Gregoire.

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