Rhode Island May See More Pension Struggles in 2014

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


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.