PROVIDENCE, RI – Testimony at Wednesday's public hearing on proposed pension overhaul pit organized labor against small business. Hundreds of people crowded the state house for the first of three public hearings on a bill that would scale back public employee pension benefits in an effort to return the plan to solvency.
PROVIDENCE, RI – RIPTA board member Margaret Holland McDuff says public outcry played a huge role in making sure services weren't part of the public transit system's budget cuts. McDuff says the RIPTA board voted to spare service cuts--although the time between bus arrivals will increase.
RIPTA had been looking at cutting night service after 10 pm or eliminating dozens of routes as a way to close a nearly $5 million budget shortfall. But McDuff says rider protests to those cuts were heard loud and clear.
PROVIDENCE, RI – More bad news on municipal pensions and the woes of State Representative Dan Gordon. That's part of the discussion this week on Political Roundtable. This week's special guest: Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
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PROVIDENCE, RI – About 100 RIPTA bus drivers and managers rallied at Kennedy Plaza Tuesday morning to protest a proposed 30 percent cut in federal funding. Paul Harrington, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union says the cut would be a disaster for the already cash-strapped agency.
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.
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.
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.
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.