Pension Crisis

Rhode Island May See More Pension Struggles in 2014

Repayments of loans connected to Curt Schilling's failed video game also source of debate

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House Speaker Gordon D. Fox says he is "concerned" and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed says she is "frustrated" that a proposed settlement may emerge from secret, court-ordered talks that would force the General Assembly to wrestle again with public-employee pensions.

In an interview Monday, a little more than a week before the Jan. 7 start of the session, Paiva Weed said she wants "the focus this session to be on jobs and the economy, and not on pension reform — again."

"That being said, it is a very important issue, and we will devote to it the time that is necessary," she said.

In a separate interview, Fox said there could come a point when he would recommend that House members say no to a settlement.

"If it gets to the point [where] it turns into a cacophony of crazy and puts us into a worse position, I am ready, willing and able to stand up and recommend to my members, no," he said in an interview.