General Treasurer: No Pension Reform This Session. (But Is It Wise to Postpone It To an Election Year?)
Turn to 10’s Bill Rappleye reported shortly after 6:00 this evening that General Treasurer Gina Raimondo will not submit a pension reform plan for consideration in the next six weeks; i.e., by the end of this General Assembly session. This contradicts a statement by Speaker Fox, by the way, who, give him credit for demonstrating a willingness to tackle the issue, said that pension reform was a possibility before the end of this session.
The Treasurer does not wish to rush such a monumental task and she is correct not to do so. At the same time, if the matter is left to the 2012 session, will it get done? Some legislators will undoubtedly be fearful that, if they vote for badly needed (understatement of the decade) pension reform, public labor unions will still not have learned their lesson, even with the end upon us, and will stupidly primary them in favor of an unscrupulous candidate who whispers sweet pension nothings into their ear. (“Back me. There’s nothing wrong with the system. Your pension is safe with me.”)
Rappleye further reported that Ms. Raimondo
… said it’s possible her office might have something over the summer or in early fall.
That still might work. If the leadership of the General Assembly is serious about
making sure that pension checks don’t bounce definitively addressing our wrecked public pension systems, they would not end this session next month but, rather, go on summer hiatus and meet again in the fall to address the matter.
This will be the most difficult matter that the General Assembly ever undertakes. It will only exacerbate the task if they are voting on a solution a week before it’s time to pull candidacy papers.