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.
The 2014 political year kicks off in earnest with the start of a new legislative session Tuesday (and the lingering shadow of the unresolved closed-door pension mediation). Thanks for stopping by for my (slightly delinquent, slightly abbreviated) weekly column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.
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.
House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed each say they intend to seek another term at the top of their respective chambers in 2015, provided they win re-election to their legislative seats next November.
In related news, Fox and Paiva Weed sounded different notes on the issue of repaying investors in failed video-game maker 38 Studios. The tab for taxpayers is set to increase in 2014 to $12.5 million dollars, up from $2.5 million in 2013 -- a factor that may resound in legislative elections in the new year.
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.
Here we go: after months (years?) of salivating by local political junkies, Rhode Island's 2014 race for governor is about to get real. Sure, most voters won't tune in until some time next year, but an announcement on Monday will mark a new phase in the contest. So thanks for stopping by, and as always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) dot (org) or to follow me on the twitters. Let's head in.
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo is throwing cold water on a plan advanced by Frank Caprio, the man who wants her job.
Caprio has proposed reducing pension fund investment fees and funneling that money back into cost of living increases for teachers and public employees. Their pensions were frozen in 2011 as part of a package of legislative reforms to shore up the ailing pension system.
The two sides discussing a possible settlement over the 2011 overhaul of Rhode Island’s state pension system will have a few more weeks to talk.
The two sides met Thursday afternoon with Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter. In the latest in a series of continuances, she scheduled another update on ongoing mediation in the case for September 30.
Taft-Carter ordered mediation last December after a series of public-employee unions filed a suit over the pension overhaul. The unions say the overhaul went too far in cutting benefits and violated their constitutional rights.
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.