Fri February 18, 2011
Raimondo: Law doesn't protect cuts to worker pensions
By IAN DONNIS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says she doesn't believe public employees are legally protected from potential cuts to their pensions.
State government faces more than four billion dollars in unfunded pension liability. Considering that, Raimondo says a day may come when the state has to cut pension benefits. Raimondo says she doesn't believe pension recipients have a property right that would shield them from cuts.
"I don't believe so," Raimondo says. "That hasn't been established in law, and I don't believe they do. The system that we have today calls for a billion dollars to come out of the budget in about 10 years to pay these benefits. I cannot look in the eye of a state workers and promise that that will be there."
Raimondo calls for reducing the state's 150 different pension plans and finding a comprehensive solution to strengthen the system.
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