pension settlement

Pool Photo/Kathy Borchers / The Providence Journal

A multi-day hearing to determine the fairness of the proposed state pension settlement started in Superior Court Wednesday. Fewer than 70 current state workers and retirees are expected to urge Judge Sarah Taft-Carter to reject the deal.

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A multi-day hearing to assess the fairness of the state’s proposed pension settlement is scheduled to start Wednesday in Superior Court. Most of the public employees involved in the case have already approved the settlement.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter last month set a timeline for moving ahead with the pension deal. About 65 people with concerns about the settlement have asked to speak in front of the judge.

The so-called fairness hearing is expected to last three to five days. The hearing will begin with expert testimony about each side of the pension case.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column, recapping another eventful week in Rhode Island. As always, your tips and feedback is welcome, and you can follow me on the twitters. Best wishes to my readers for Easter and Passover. Here we go.

The judge overseeing the state pension conflict is slated to hear arguments on a number of motions Thursday.  The window for voting on a proposed settlement ends Friday.

A series of public-employee unions are suing over changes made to their benefits as part of a 2011 overhaul of the state pension system. That conflict will move ahead in court next month, unless there’s a settlement in the case.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Independent candidate for treasurer Ernest Almonte joins Political Roundtable to discuss his campaign; the latest WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll; how state and federal officials are faring in responding to Ebola; and the end of the road for The Providence Phoenix.

Rhode Island's multi-billion dollar pension dispute appears headed to a September 15 trial date in Superior Court after a breakdown in attempts to resolve the conflict through mediation.

Each side blamed the other for the impasse following more than a year of talks.

In a preview of things to come as Rhode Island's Democratic primary grows more intense, the campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo are trading sharp jabs over the handling of the high-stakes state pension conflict.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee says he remains hopeful the proposed state pension settlement can be salvaged, possibly by leaving out the police group that was the only one of six in an initial round of voting to reject the deal.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A judge has ordered the parties in a lawsuit over Rhode Island's pension overhaul back to the mediation table, after police voted to reject a proposed settlement. Many teachers, firefighters, state workers and retirees voted to accept the deal, which was reached after more than a year of negotiation.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with political analyst Scott Mackay to figure out what the rejection means, and where the pension settlement can go from here.

In a move that could send the battle over Rhode Island's 2011 pension overhaul back to court, one of the six plaintiff groups that had to initially sign off on a proposed settlement has voted against the deal.

As a result, Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter has ordered the two sides in the dispute -- the state and a series of public-employee unions -- back to mediation. Taft-Carter is slated to get an update on the talks next Monday, April 14.

RIPR FILE

When will Rhode Islanders stop debating public employee pensions? Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay says that won’t happen anytime soon.

You can hear political analyst Scott MacKay’s commentary every Monday during Morning Edition on Rhode Island Public Radio.

RIPR FILE

Ballots are due Thursday in the first round of voting on the proposed state pension settlement. But it’s not clear when the results will become available.

UPDATE: Williams (Labor) Ajello (Judiciary) Melo (Finance) out as committee chairs as Mattiello takes over.

As has been the case since its days as a British colony, Rhode Island’s florid political culture is once again enmeshed in upheaval because of chicanery in high places.

The abrupt demise of Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox of Providence means another episode of   `As the Rhode Island Statehouse turns.’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative John "Jay" Edwards joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; the Statehouse debate over guns; fallout from the Cranston parking ticket scandal; and the proposed state pension settlement.

Ballots have been mailed to union members and retirees who are eligible to participate in the first round of voting on the proposed pension settlement that was unveiled February 14, according to Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for the plaintiffs' coalition the case. The deadline for returning the ballots is April 3.

Sullivan says a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope has been provided with the ballot. He says the ballots will tabulated by ProMail, which he says is an independently administered firm.

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