Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Spar At First Televised Debate

Jun 11, 2014

The three major Democratic candidates for governor offered their views on jobs, education and other issues during an hour-long debate Tuesday. The forum sponsored by WPRI and the Providence Journal came with less than three months until the September 9th primary.

Angel Taveras, one of three major Democratic hopefuls for governor.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 as proof of her leadership skills. Raimondo said the overhaul significantly reduced Rhode Island’s long-term pension bill.

"It solved the crisis. Rhode Island now stands as one of the few states in the country that has fixed its pension system, and what does that mean? It’s already saved hundreds of millions of dollars for the people of Rhode Island," said Raimondo.

But fellow Democrat Clay Pell said it’s premature for Raimondo to say the pension issue is solved since public-employee unions are challenging the overhaul in court. Pell said he would have used a more collaborative approach to tackle the issue. The third major Democratic candidate, Angel Taveras, touted the pension overhaul he made as mayor of Providence.  Asked whether it saved enough money, Taveras said the pension changes represented progress for the city.

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