PROVIDENCE, R.I. – General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today released the following statement regarding the litigation challenging the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011:
"I have great respect for the judicial system and we now must let this process unfold in an orderly and transparent way. We owe that to the people of Rhode Island. It is not the time for closed-door meetings. This is not a time for politics. This is too important to the future of Rhode Island.
"It's now the job of the judicial branch to evaluate the legislation passed by the General Assembly, and we should let it do its work. If at some point the court asks the state to sit down to try and reach a settlement, we will do so in good faith. In the meantime, Treasury will continue to work diligently to defend the important work done by the General Assembly.
"It is important to pause and remember that the passage of the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act represented the culmination of 11 months of thoughtful, fact-based analysis and input from retirees, employees and taxpayers across Rhode Island, as well as national pension and legal experts. It was carefully designed by the General Assembly in an effort to save our state-administered retirement system."
The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act was enacted in November of 2011 by a vote of 57 to 15 in House of Representatives and by a vote of 35 to 2 in the Senate and moves the state forward by:
- Allowing us to honestly tell our public employees that their retirement is secure - Immediately reducing the unfunded liability by about $3 billion - Saving Rhode Island taxpayers $4 billion over the next two decades - Saving cities and towns $1 billion over the next two decades - Ensuring that future pension costs are predictable and sustainable
In 1979, the General Assembly enacted Rhode Island General Law 36-11-12 that provides as follows:
§ 36-11-12 Retirement system matters excluded from collective bargaining. – Any and all matters relating to the employees' retirement system of the state of Rhode Island are excluded as negotiable items in the collective bargaining process. ?