By IAN DONNIS
PROVIDENCE, RI – Legislative leaders say a court victory for public-employee unions won't stop them from pursuing pension reform. They plan to continue with a series of joint budget discussions starting Wednesday.
House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed say they still anticipate getting a proposal to fix the state pension plan. They say they'll take whatever action is "reasonable and necessary to address the pension crisis" facing Rhode Island.
Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ruled that public employees have an implied contract right for their pension benefits. Fox and Paiva Weed call that ruling an initial decision on one aspect of pension changes made since 2009.
Governor Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo are expected to present a pension reform proposal for legislative consideration in early October. An appeal by the state of Taft-Carter's decision is considered very likely.
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