PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Public-sector unions are hailing Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee's (CHAY'-fee) call for talks to settle the closely watched lawsuit over Rhode Island's pension overhaul — but the state treasurer says the dispute should remain in the courts.
Rhode Island Council 94 President Michael Downey said Tuesday there's time to strike a deal to prevent a protracted court battle.
Chafee told WPRI-TV on Monday the state should pursue negotiations to prevent a budgetary calamity if the pension law is struck down.
No negotiations are underway. Treasurer Gina Raimondo is the overhaul's main architect. She says the state has a good case and the law is on its side.
A judge will hear arguments Friday on a state motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
The changes were designed to save billions by suspending pension increases, raising retirement ages and other steps.