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.
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.
House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the possible fate in the General Assembly of the 2011 pension overhaul; continued fallout from the failure of 38 Studios; and the intensifying race for governor.
Attorneys for the state and public employee unions met privately with a judge in Warwick Monday over the state’s pension overhaul. Unions representing state workers are suing the state over changes made to the pension law two years ago. They say the changes are overreaching and unconstitutional.
A Superior Court judge is slated to get an update Monday on the status of mediation on the overhaul of the state pension system in 2011.
Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ordered the mediation in December 2012. That came after a series of public-employee unions challenged the pension overhaul in court. The unions claim that changes including cuts to benefits for retirees are unconstitutional.
Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss ongoing mediation over Rhode Island's pension lawsuit; the start next week of a 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge; Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin's decision to become a Republican; and the US Justice Department stepping away from mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.
A conservative group is praising Rhode Island for overhauling its state pension plan in 2011. The changes made to the plan remain the subject of a lawsuit in Superior Court.
In a new report, the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, praises Rhode Island for making significant changes to reduce its long-term pension obligations. The Virginia-based group calls the changes a contrast from states that hold hearings and organize study groups without taking action.
Mediation is set to continue over the challenge by a series of public-employee unions to an overhaul of the state pension system in 2011.
The outcome of the case has big implications for the state.The two sides in the pension case have repeatedly asked for more time to mediate their differences. Following another such request, the next update is slated before Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter on September 5th. Taft-Carter was the one who ordered mediation in the case last December.
Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter is scheduled to get the next update in the case on September 5, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. The hearing will take place in Kent County, since Taft-Carter is being assigned there this fall.
Rhode Island’s pension fund earned a return on its investment of a little more than 11 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30th. But state Treasurer Gina Raimondo is sounding a warning about the future of the state’s pension plan.
The 11.1 percent earned by the state pension fund is a big improvement over the 1.4 percent return a year earlier. Still, Rhode Island fared a bit worse than the 12.5 percent earned by the country’s largest public employee pension system, CALPERS, over the same period.