PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- As the court case surrounding Rhode Island's pension reform unfolds, the state's general treasurer is speaking out against negotiating with state workers' union.
Largely credited with structuring the historic pension reform legislation for the struggling state, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo remains committed to her position as the legal battle plays out.
"We need to stand strong as Rhode Islanders, defend this important work, and move this state forward," she said.
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A lawsuit filed by several local unions following state municipal pension reform last November is being heard in Superior Court. If the court dismisses the case, it would be a major step towards solidifying the pension reform as a law.
"We have a terrific legal team, and the process seems to be playing out exactly as it should, in an orderly and transparent way" said Raimondo. "I have a great deal of faith in Rhode Island's judiciary and it's the right thing to do for all people to just let the process continue."
Unfortunately, the process could take several months to settle, with the likelihood of many twists and turns.
Gov. Chafee has expressed willingness to return to negotiations with union representatives, which is something Raimondo says she supports if the judge in the case recommends that.
"If the court asks the parties to sit down and mediate, of course we'll do that, and we'll do that in good faith," Raimondo added. "But, now is not the time for politics, it's not the time back room, closed-door meetings, we owe it to the people to let the transparent process go forward."
Raimondo also tells us she believes the General Assembly spent more hours on the pension reform legislation than any other in history, and that other options have already been exhausted.
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