RI files appeal in public pension lawsuit


Rhode Island is asking its Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that public pensions amount to a contract with the state and can’t be easily changed by lawmakers.

Attorneys for Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo filed a legal petition Monday asking the court to intervene in the pension lawsuit. The suit was filed by eight public-worker unions seeking to block retirement benefit changes passed by lawmakers.

It’s up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear the appeal.

Last month’s decision by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter handed the unions a victory by ruling that pension agreements were contracts between the state and its employees and can’t be changed “on a whim.”

State lawmakers are scheduled to convene this month to consider additional changes to the public pension system.

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