Don’t Speak, Don’t See
Marc mentioned yesterday that the chairman of the Rhode Island House Finance Committee wishes to control debate on the floor of the House. In other news, the chairman of a House commission on pension reform, Timothy Williamson, again refused to release the product of a publicly financed actuarial study of potential retirement savings:
The state’s pension advisers dangled potential savings ranging from $22.6 million to $38.2 million in a single year in front of a legislative study commission yesterday, amid promises by the chairman that this year-long, stop-and-go foray into the world of public employee pensions in Rhode Island will wrap up its inquiry by the end of next month.
Rep. Timothy Williamson, D-West Warwick, again refused to make public a letter summarizing the findings of the state-paid actuaries at Gabriel Roeder Smith & Co., and the methodology they used to arrive at their conclusions.
Williamson asserted that the letter, which the actuaries had in front of them as they testified at last night’s televised State House meeting, had been written to him personally, in his role as chairman of the commission, and so it was not public. One of House Speaker William J. Murphy’s top State House legal advisers, Richard Kearns, backed him up, which kept the letter out of the public arena last night.
The actuaries are being paid a reported $52,000 by the General Assembly for their work, but as of last night, only some of that completed work had been made public.
Given the numbers that were cited — that the numbers were cited — one wonders what’s being withheld from public view.