New study by ALEC praises Raimondo for pension changesAugust 13th, 2013 at 12:01 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
A new study out Tuesday offers more praise for Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s approach to pension changes, though it may also offer new fodder for her political opponents.
The study by Dan Liljenquist, a former Utah state senator who unsuccessfully challenged Orrin Hatch for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination last year, was released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-leaning group which has drawn criticism from Rhode Island liberals in the past.
The study, “Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform,” paints a bleak picture of pension systems’ current funding levels nationwide, and argues lawmakers should look to Rhode Island as one example of how they can reduce the costs to taxpayers.
“Rhode Island has gained both notoriety and praise for its pension reforms,” Liljenquist writes. “Although some legislators launch study groups or hold hearings but do not change anything, Rhode Island made some significant changes in just 11 months.”
Liljenquist writes that “Raimondo was rewarded for her work” reaching out to unions and workers. But he also says lawmakers could “easily and quietly” boost benefits in the future, and suggests that failing to eliminate defined-benefit plans for all retirees “means maintaining some further exposure to bankruptcy risk.”
The full study is available on ALEC’s website. Its praise for Raimondo contrasts with the criticism the pension law received in June in a study released by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, another national group.