PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - State leaders attended a pension forum held by the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council Friday.
The meeting focused on the challenges facing the state's failing pension system and proposals for fixing it.
Governor Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo led a wide ranging discussion about their pension proposal to the crowd of business and labor leaders.
"The bill that we have proposed saves the taxpayers of Rhode Island at least $4 billion over the next 24 years. It saves municipalities over a billion-and-a-half," Raimondo said addressing the crowd.
"I think all the legislators know that there's no place to find $100 million. We just can't cut higher education, we can't pass it down to the cities and towns, we can't cut human services - we saw the rally last week. There are really no more areas to find $100 million, we really have to pass these reforms," Chafee told reporters.
Under a sweeping proposal unveiled Tuesday, cost-of-living adjustments would be frozen for almost two decades and all state workers in the state-run system would be enrolled in a new hybrid plan.
The proposal would immediately raise the pension system's funding level from 48% to 62%.
"The state of Rhode Island has never seen a pension reform like this," Raimondo told reporters Tuesday.
The pension reform plan now goes to joint House and Senate hearings starting on Monday.
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