RI pension settlement news conference abruptly canceled

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A much-anticipated news conference scheduled for Wednesday to outline details of a proposed settlement in the state pension reform fight has been abruptly canceled, according to an email from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

“I will acknowledge that we were all expecting big news today,” Treasurer Gina Raimondo said Wednesday morning at the start of a meeting of the State Retirement Board, which was scheduled to consider – and possibly approve – the proposed settlement as part of its agenda. “There won’t be big news today.”

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• Related: RI pension settlement set to be unveiled Wednesday (Feb. 10)

After the jump, read Raimondo’s full – brief – comments at the start of the hearing.

So, I will acknowledged that we were all expecting big news today – hence all our visitors; happy to have you. There won’t be big news today. We are still in the process of working out the details of our mediation. We worked late into the night and were not completed.

Quite frankly, this is too important to rush. We have to get it right. We have to protect the interests of all the people of Rhode Island and the people in the pension system. So when we know more we’ll provide more updates.

The press conference for this afternoon has been postponed, and the mediators will apprise us when it’s appropriate to continue with the process.

In the meantime, we’re going to continue to work cooperatively and, as I say, make sure that we get this right for the people of Rhode Island. So, sorry to disappoint, but that’s what I have to report, and as you see we’re going to continue to go through the rest of the agenda, and there’s certain legal issues we will cover in executive session. But that’s what I’m allowed to say pursuant to the court’s confidential order in this open session.

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