| | Advanced Search

 

Ric Santurri: Primary Predictions—In one party dominated Rhode Island, and especially…

Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Homemade Ricotta Cheese—One of the most exciting aspects of cooking…

Elmwood Diner To Present Grand Opening Event September 6 and 7—The historic Elmwood Diner will host a Grand…

Del’s Lemonade Tops List for ‘Most Significant’ Chain Restaurant in Rhode Island—Del's Lemonade was named the "most significant restaurant…

Providence Named One of the 11 Greatest Foodie Cities In America—Providence was ranked one of the 11 greatest…

Hasbro Will Open Exhibit on the Creation of “Transformers”—Hasbro Inc., will unveil its new exhibit “From…

Stan Tran Unveils Job Plan—Republican candidate for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District…

Commerce RI Partners to Lower Costs of Solar Power in Rhode Island—The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI), the…

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Speak at “Defense Innovation Days” Event—Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and several other…

Dear John: An Ill-Advised Office Romance (Aren’t They All?)—You won't believe what he got asked this…

 
 

Tea Party Lines Up Behind Treasurer Raimondo on Pension Reform

Thursday, January 03, 2013

 

Progressive Democrats may be unhappy with General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, but the state’s leading Tea Party group says it stands behind the Democrat who helped craft the state’s landmark pension reform package.

In an e-mail sent to supporters two weeks ago, the Ocean State Tea Party in Action criticized Governor Lincoln Chafee for changing his stance on pension reform and praised both Raimondo and House Speaker Gordon Fox for moving the overhaul forward.

“The OSTPA will be watching closely for the taxpayers,” the e-mail stated. “We will support Treasurer Raimondo as she stands ready to defend her actions to try to save the state of RI while looking out for the best interest of all taxpayers.”

Chafee signed the pension reform bill into law in late 2011 and then advocated for the General Assembly to pass a bill that would allow municipalities to address their pension woes throughout 2012, but that effort fell flat. Last month, Chafee called on the state and the unions to sit down at the bargaining table and negotiate a settlement to a lawsuit filed by the unions that would overturn the pension law.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter has since ordered both sides into mediation. While Raimondo has indicated she would like to see the process unfold in court, she has also said the state is willing to negotiate in good faith.

"I have great respect for the judicial system and it is important to let this process unfold in an orderly and transparent way,” she said last month.. “We owe that to the people of Rhode Island and to our public employees. We continue to believe the state has a very strong case and a terrific legal team. As I have consistently said, we will participate in court-ordered mediation in good faith."

The pension reform package cuts the state’s unfunded pension liability by $3 billion and is expected to save taxpayers nearly $300 million by this year. It also enrolls public employees in a 401k-style hybrid plan, freezes cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) and raises the retirement age for many union workers. The outcome of the suit could play a role in how states all over the country attempt to address massive unfunded pension liabilities.

The Tea Party said that Raimondo and Fox showed “true leadership” in supporting pension reform.

“We support the courage of Treasurer Raimondo and Speaker Fox, not only for passing the pension reform legislation, but also for the wisdom to remain steadfast in what they believe is the correct, legal remedy for the state’s significant public pension problem,” the e-mail stated. “This is the mark of true leadership.”

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Comments:

Sounds about right.

Comment #1 by Malachi Constant on 2013 01 03

This is soooooo wrong. The pols fail to uphold their promise to fund their side of a pension and the employees have to pay for this. this is just criminal and those pols should be sent to prison for theft because that's exactly what it is.

A pension contribution is part of the deferred compensation that is owed to the employee since it is earned at the time the employee works. It is not a freebie that is GIVEN to the employee when they are no longer working. If the system needs to be changed then do it going forward not retroactively. If the total compensation package for public employees is no longer competitive then the taxpayers will get what they are willing to pay for.

Comment #2 by jenn marks on 2013 01 03

COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS CONFIRMS COLORADO PERA PUBLIC PENSION COLA BENEFITS AS CONTRACTUAL.

The Colorado Court of Appeals has reversed and remanded an initial District Court ruling that denied the contractual status of public pension COLAs in Colorado. The Court of Appeals confirmed that Colorado PERA pension COLA benefits are a contractual obligation of the pension plan Colorado PERA and its affiliated public employers.
A huge victory for public sector retirees in Colorado! The Colorado Legislature may not breach its contracts and push taxpayer obligations onto the backs of a small group of elderly pensioners.

The lawsuit is continuing. Support pension rights in the U.S. by contributing at saveperacola.com. Friend Save Pera Cola on Facebook!

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court (in U.S. Trust Co, 431 U.S.) clarified that state attempts to impair their own contracts, ESPECIALLY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS, were subject to greater scrutiny and very little deference because the STATE'S SELF-INTEREST IS AT STAKE. As the court bluntly stated:

“A governmental entity can always find a use for extra money, especially when taxes do not have to be raised. If a state could reduce its financial obligations whenever it wanted to spend the money for what it regarded as an important public purpose, the Contract Clause would provide no protection at all . . . Thus, a state cannot refuse to meet its legitimate financial obligations simply because it would prefer to spend the money to promote the public good rather than the private welfare of its creditors."

Comment #3 by Al Moncrief on 2013 01 03

This isnt a tea party issue as much as it is a Rhode Island taxpayer issue. Defined benefits are a mechanism for corruption.If we want to eliminate corruption in the Statehouse and in municipal governments we should end defined benefits immediately.Taxpayer should not be guaranteeing the retirements of any new hires in any town in Rhode Island. Government workers for towns should have similar retirement risks to the rest of us or at the very most match what Federal Government workers have.Being hired by a town in Rhode Island literally means you'll get a million dollars in 25 years on top of your pay and health care. what other jobs do that? why are we doing it?

Comment #4 by michael riley on 2013 01 03




Write your comment...

You must be logged in to post comments.