EngageRI, the pro-pension overhaul group started with encouragement from state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, is reminding Governor Lincoln Chafee of how pension savings made possible many of the initiatives in his new budget.
EngageRI chairman John Galvin says in a statement:
“In his State of the State speech last night, Governor Lincoln Chafee quietly heralded a new day for Rhode Island. While the 2011 pension reform law was not mentioned, Governor Chafee was able to use approximately $250 million saved by reform in FY14 to cut taxes and fund his priorities. Because of the passage of pension reform, Governor Chafee was able to ask for increased aid to education, increased funding for our universities and an incentive for municipalities to reform their pension systems. These are positive steps that will mean a brighter future for Rhode Island and they were made possible because of comprehensive pension reform.
“As the General Assembly begins its work this session, it is more important than ever to thank the House and Senate leadership for their staunch support of pension reform and remind all members of the General Assembly that preserving the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act will be a critical part of Rhode Island’s future success."
Chafee, an independent, and Raimondo, a Democrat, are prospective rivals in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. Democrat Ernest Almonte is the only declared candidate at this point, although Democrat Angel Taveras, and Republican Allan Fung are also seen as possible candidates.