One had to expect that political pressure brought by certain special interests would enter the pension reform debate. Well, here it is. The Providence’s Journal’s recent reporting about the pressure threatening to come down on legislators who may wish to back the kind of comprehensive pension reform we have to have says it all, and that’s why the General Treasurer is clearly worried that whatever recommendations she and the Governor propose - and we're getting wind of those now - may come to naught in the end. Considering the situation we’re facing, it’s almost impossible to believe that we’ll end up with half a loaf, but credible people are predicting that’s what’s going to happen in the end.
As Gina Raimondo says, however, if legislators back half-hearted measures on pension reform, the numbers won’t work and the problem will only get worse. We know for sure that without comprehensive reform a number of our cities and towns will go straight over a cliff starting next July. How can the General Assembly, in its most dramatic and consequential hour, allow that to happen?
While special interests apply the pressure to water down pension reform – proposing no credible alternative plan in the meantime – the public should push back and let legislators know that if they don’t back the real thing, then they had better watch their backs from taxpayers come election time next November. They have to know it will come down to that.
So who is going to get the upper hand here, the special interests or the taxpayers? With the very future of our state at stake, that's no small matter.