Despite feedback in e-meeting, Gov. Lincoln Chafee is ready to submit bill allowing local leaders to suspend benefit. Meanwhile, Sen. President Teresa Paiva Weed says pension reform should be decided by cities and towns.
Governor Chafee will hold an electronic town hall for retirees and taxpayers on Thursday at 5 p.m., as he continues to look for ways to address the pension problems for cities and towns.
Here we go again. GoLocalProv.com reports ideas reportedly being considered by Governor Chafee, like the temporary suspension of COLAs are, according to Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine, “basic strategies that will be helpful across the board that may not solve everybody’s problem but will be of benefit to everybody.”
"Although the outcome to date does not satisfy fundamental concerns about the revocation of promised benefits and the loss of confidence retirees have in their plans for retirement security, concessions were made. If you watched the House floor debate on Nov. 17, you heard apologetic lawmakers echoing – sometimes literally – the very concerns AARP and thousands of citizens raised. Again and again came the admission that the bill was not perfect."
The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act on 2011 passed the House 57-15 and the Senate 34-2 at a special session called to address the state’s pension crisis. Once Governor Chafee signs the bill into law, the changes to the system would be effective July 1, 2012.
Department of Administration Director Richard Licht and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, both of whom served on the Chafee-Raimondo pension advisory group, said the Treasurer didn’t tell them she thought the group’s work wouldn’t be rigorous enough for the final bill to include reforms of the 36 troubled municipal pension systems.
GoLocalProv.com: It’s being billed as the most important piece of legislation they’ll ever vote on, but some state lawmakers say they’re concerned they won’t have all the details they need when they vote on the pension reform plan.
This legislation sets a dangerous precedent. How do you plan for retirement if you cannot count on the benefits you were promised? The focus today may be on a particular class of Rhode Island public employees, but people who work anywhere in the public or private sector should share this concern.
On local television, AARP is asking Rhode Islanders to think about people...not just numbers. Take action, call you lawmakers today.
You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand that the pension reform proposal before the General Assembly has a glaring inequity. But we brought A Rhodes Scholar to the State House anyway. Watch the video.