Fox, Paiva-Weed make appointments to study panel on local pensions
Rhode Island’s new pension law calls for the creation of a commission to study the thorny subject of locally managed municipal pensions. Governor Lincoln Chafee gets most of the selections to the 14-member group; the administration hopes to make its appointments before the end of the month, according to state Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly.
In the meanwhile, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed have turned to some familiar names for their appointments:
The 14-member commission includes five legislative appointments – one each by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, and three municipal officials named jointly by the leaders of the two chambers.
Speaker Gordon D. Fox announced today that his appointment to the study panel will be Antonio Pires, former Pawtucket State Representative and former Chairman of the House Committee on Finance.
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed announced the appointment of J. Michael Lenihan of East Greenwich, former State Senator and former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.
Named jointly by the two leaders are:
Providence Mayor Angel Tavares, as the mayor from a city or town with a population greater than 50,000; Johnston Mayor (and former State Senator) Joseph M. Polisena, as the mayor of a city or town with a population of less than 50,000, and Jamestown Town Administrator Bruce R. Keiser, as the administrator of a town.
In addition to three appointments that will be made by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, the commission will be composed of: the Director of the Department of Revenue (who will serve as chair); the Auditor General; the General Treasurer; a representative of the Department of Administration; a representative of the RI League of Cities and Towns, and a representative of the RI Public Expenditures Council.
The study commission, under the provisions of the new law, is charged with reviewing existing legislation and pension plan administrative practices and making recommendations for the improved security and funding of locally administered plans and other post-retirement benefit obligations of cities and towns.
Taveras has been particularly outspoken in calling for General Assembly help in scaling back 5 percent and 6 percent compounded public-safety COLAs in Providence.