The Rhode Island Republican Party is backing up the GOP’s two gubernatorial candidates in saying that the state pension dispute should be resolved in court. Two of the state’s leading Democrats still support the push for a settlement between the two sides
A proposed pension settlement unveiled in February was cast in doubt Monday when one of six groups that have to offer initial approval rejected the deal. State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said he agrees with his party’s gubernatorial candidates that the pension conflict should be decided in court.
“We need to see it, I think the entire state needs to see that go to court. It shakes the sovereignty of the state if we allow the courts to dictate that we can’t pass laws like that. So that sets a dangerous precedent,” said Smiley.
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Governor Lincoln Chafee, both Democrats, support the ongoing quest for a settlement. Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung says the proposed deal would raise state and municipal expenses too much. Fellow Republican candidate Ken Block has cited similar concerns and says the settlement process lacks transparency.
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