Update: It looks like a settlement is back on; the federal mediation service plans to hold a news conference at 4:15 pm Friday.
A news conference to unveil a pension settlement Wednesday afternoon was abruptly postponed, although closed-door mediation in the case will continue. Meanwhile, the judge overseeing the dispute has also set a trial for September 15, in the event that a settlement can’t be reached.
State officials and the public-employee unions that sued over a 2011 overhaul of the state pension system have reached a settlement, yet the deal remains shrouded in secrecy in advance of its expected unveiling Wednesday afternoon.
Governor Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo briefed House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed on highlights of the agreement during a closed-door Statehouse meeting Monday afternoon. Fox declined to offer any specifics after emerging from the meeting:
Speculation continues about whether a settlement will emerge from closed-door pension mediation as soon as next week.
The head of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, Daniel Beardsley, is worried that a settlement could hike pension costs for communities by more than $100 million. The league outlines its concerns in a new white paper. But as Beardsley says, it remains unclear if the General Assembly will be receptive to approving a settlement.
Intellectual property rights for 38 Studios, the failed video game that left Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for $90 million, were slated to hit the auction block Wednesday. Nick Jimenez, executive vice president with Heritage Global Auctions, says via email there will be "more to report after the sales process is completed in the coming days." In the interim, an update on related developments:
The Red Sox win big, politics never takes a holiday, and the calendar turns to November, marking the one-year mark until Rhode Island's next general election. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to send me tips and feedback at idonnis (at) ripr (org) and to follow my short takes via Twitter. Let's head in.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the race for governor; the fate of gun-related legislation in the General Assembly; the cancaled appearance at Brown University involving New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, and other issues.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says his office is developing legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session that would require background checks for workers in Rhode Island's adult entertainment industry.
Tracy Breton, who covered courts and legal issues at the Providence Journal for 40 years, says an ongoing series of buyouts and layoffs on Fountain Street will make it increasingly difficult for the paper to offer investigative reporting and in-depth journalism.
Tracy Breton worked her final day on the job at the Providence Journal last Friday after covering courts and trials for 40 years. Breton was part of the investigative team that won a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for the ProJo, and she covered the downfall of two Rhode Island Supreme Court chief justices, Joseph Bevilacqua and Thomas Fay. Breton sat down to talk about her four decades of covering the courts and her future plans.