Paiva Weed, Raimondo against Senate bills boosting pensionsMay 11th, 2012 at 2:26 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and Treasurer Gina Raimondo are pouring cold water on two retiring Senate Democrats’ separate suggestions that Rhode Island should increase state workers’ pension benefits, saying it’s too soon to revise the new law passed last November.
“The Senate President does not support these proposals,” spokesman Greg Paré told WPRI.com. “Speaking generally, we will monitor implementation of the pension changes made in the fall, but it is too early to consider changes.”
One proposal by state Sen. John Tassoni, D-Smithfield, would create a special pension benefit for employees in two departments, while another by state Sen. Bea Lanzi, D-Cranston, would scrap the requirement that municipal police officers and firefighters wait until age 55 to become eligible for a pension.
Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox told WPRI.com the new pension law “was developed after thoughtful analysis and designed to enact a fair and lasting reform,” and said the treasurer “encourages a similar comprehensive approach for subsequent legislation affecting the retirement system.”
“As chief fiduciary of the retirement system, she urges the General Assembly to give [the pension law] a chance to work before considering changes that might weaken its impact,” Fox added.
Tassoni and Lanzi, who aren’t running for reelection, did not return phone calls seeking more information about their proposals. The lawmakers didn’t issue press releases publicizing and explaining their bills, either.