Gordon Fox

Scott MacKay Commentary
3:56 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The New RI Public Pension Reality

An out of court settlement marks the end of a contentious lawsuit over public pensions.
Credit RIPR FILE

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

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On Politics
3:04 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

RI Pension Settlement more start than end of debate

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.

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On Politics
6:31 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

The Politics of the RI Pension Settlement

In most protracted court battles, a settlement reached after tortuous year-long negotiations marks the end of a lawsuit and allows the parties to move forward. Often the lawyers celebrate and perhaps even share an odd drop together.

That wasn’t the case Friday. The  proposed legal settlement between the state and the unions that represent public school teachers and state employees and retirees is just the beginning of a cumbersome ratification process that is sure to become ensnared in what is shaping up as a contentious political campaign season in Rhode Island.

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On Politics
2:21 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pension settlement and the General Assembly: Is it doomed this year?

What everyone in the Rhode Island political swirl should understand about the state pension overhaul settlement details that are due for release tomorrow: This is very likely to be only the beginning of a protracted process.

One thing we know for sure. Even if it is fair and reasonable, not everyone is going to like it. Some unionized state employees and teachers will not be satisfied with anything less than a full restoration of the pension benefits that were sliced dramatically in the 2011 special General Assembly pension session.

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On Politics
3:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Chafee, Raimondo, Fox, Paiva Weed get closed-door pension briefing

This just in from RIPR's Ian Donnis:

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, State  Treasurer Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Tersea  Paiva Weed met privately at the State House this afternoon for  a 90-minute closed-door briefing on the proposed state pension overhaul legal settlement.

The settlement details are scheduled to be released on Wednesday.  The parties to the pension lawsuit have been under a gag order by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter for more than a year. None of the state officials in today’s meeting disclosed any settlement details.

On Politics
5:04 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

TGIF: 15 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

Thanks for stopping by for a visit with my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week long on the twitters.

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General Assembly
9:06 am
Wed January 8, 2014

General Assembly Opens For 2014 Legislative Session

The RI General Assembly begins the 2014 legislative session this week.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

House Speaker Gordon Fox welcomed lawmakers back Tuesday by hoping the new legislative session is more civil than the one that stretched into last July.

Debate in the House turned prickly over parts of the budget during the last legislative year. In his opening speech on the first day of the new session, Fox called for a different approach.

“I hope that we strengthen the lines of communication, so hopefully we end this session earlier than last session and end it nice. Welcome back to 2014, let’s get to work," said Fox.

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On Politics
10:57 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ready or Not, the General Assembly Is Set to Start Anew

The General Assembly starts action Tuesday afternoon in a year marked by politically complicated issues -- the possible fallout of pension mediation and the rising tab for 38 Studios, for starters -- and a high-profile race for governor.

In case you've missed it, here are some ways to get up to speed on the new legislative session.

My interview with House Speaker Gordon Fox.

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Pension Overhaul
9:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Pension Debate Expected To Return To The General Assembly

State pension overhaul is expected to return to this year's legislative session.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

One of the key issues facing the General Assembly in the new year is the fate of a significant overhaul of the state pension system in 2011.  The new legislative session starts Tuesday.

State officials and public employee unions have held closed-door talks for more than a year in an attempt to settle a lawsuit over the pension overhaul. House Speaker Gordon Fox said he opposes any dramatic changes, because the overhaul alleviated pressure on the state budget.

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Politics
4:00 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Speaker Fox Previews The Top Issues Facing the General Assembly in 2014

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

With the General Assembly set to start its new session Tuesday, House Speaker Gordon Fox sat down to discuss the issues facing the legislature, including the latest budget deficit; fallout from 38 Studios; the possible impact of a settlement over the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system; tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; and more.

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