Politics
8:15 am
Wed October 5, 2011

State lawyers challenge pension ruling

PROVIDENCE, RI – State lawyers are asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's finding that public employees have a contract right to their pensions.

State lawyers say an immediate review of the lower court decision is necessary and warranted. They say a ruling will make clear what state officials can do to overhaul Rhode Island's pension system when lawmakers meet later this month. Rhode Island has a $7 billion unfunded pension liability.

State lawyers also argue that Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter erred last month when she ruled that public employees have a contract right to their pensions.

Unions representing public employees have 20 days to respond to the request for a Supreme Court review. In a statement, court spokesman Craig Berke says the justices will consider making a review after a union response is filed.

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