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.

Photo by James Wyman.

PROVIDENCE, RI – State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says it might be possible to solve Rhode Island's pension crisis without cutting public employees' earned benefits. She made that statement during a pension briefing to the state Senate.

A member of Raimondo's staff told senators that state employees aren't legally shielded from cuts to benefits they've earned. A short time later, Raimondo said she hopes to fix the state pension plan without cutting workers' accrued benefits.

Photo by James Wyman.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Barbara MacMullan never imagined the construction of five offshore wind turbines would divide a place known for its conservation. The Block Island resident thought the wind farm was no brainer. It's green. It's clean. And it could end the island's dependence on diesel powered energy.

But Barbara MacMullan thought wrong.

file photo

PROVIDENCE, RI – When Central Falls receiver Robert Flanders Jr. rolled out proposed cuts to police and fire retirees back in July, he warned that a haircut looked a lot better than a beheading. Now Flanders is backing up that statement by taking more out of retirement checks than first expected.

Providence, RI – Congressman Jim Langevin says he is reviewing a deal that would allow the federal government to avoid defaulting on its debt. The Rhode Island Democrat has not said whether he will support the deal. It calls for spending cuts, but would not raise taxes on the wealthy. Langevin says it is important that the US remain in good standing with its creditors. However, he says a fair solution should include both spending cuts and tax increases for higher income households.

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln Chafee is reviewing the state's options should Congress fail to reach a deal and raise the nation's debt limit. Without raising the debt ceiling, Rhode Island could see some of its federal funding disappear, affecting programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Chafee says Congress must reach an agreement, as Rhode Island, along with the rest of the nation, cannot afford anything that would impede its economic recovery.

Photo by Catherine Welch

PROVIDENCE, RI – It's now up to Central Falls retirees and workers to decide whether they will accept changes to their pensions and benefits. Those changes include a haircut for everyone who retired before turning 60-years-old.

PROVIDENCE, RI – In reaction to President Obama's statement that Social Security and veteran's checks may not go out next month, Rhode Island seniors say they are worried that they may not get their checks.

At a North Providence senior center, the threat of a cut-off in social security benefits starting August 3rd had people like Thelma Visnewski wondering how they would pay their rent.