Pension Debate Expected To Return To The General Assembly

Jan 6, 2014

One of the key issues facing the General Assembly in the new year is the fate of a significant overhaul of the state pension system in 2011.  The new legislative session starts Tuesday.

State pension overhaul is expected to return to this year's legislative session.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials and public employee unions have held closed-door talks for more than a year in an attempt to settle a lawsuit over the pension overhaul. House Speaker Gordon Fox said he opposes any dramatic changes, because the overhaul alleviated pressure on the state budget.

"We saved 250 million, for instance, this year. That’s money that’s available not only to forestall a larger structural deficit, but also to make investments. We were able to put investments into education, public higher education," said Fox.

The 2011 pension overhaul shaved three billion dollars off the long-term bill for the pension plan. Public employee unions argue that cuts in benefits promised to them are unconstitutional. A Superior Court judge is slated today to get her latest update on attempts to mediate the pension dispute.

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