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State treasurer says Providence pension a big challenge

January 25, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s state treasurer says Providence’s underfunded pension system is the state’s biggest challenge.

Treasurer Seth Magaziner says he is also urging Democratic Mayor Jorge Elorza to look beyond the city’s water system as a solution. WPRI-TV reports Elorza is currently looking at monetizing the city water system as a potential solution to pension funding.

Magaziner, a Democrat, cautions that there are unanswered legal and financial questions the city could face with water system monetization. He suggested in the Friday interview that Providence officials should re-examine benefits for current city employees during coming contract negotiations.

The treasurer says he has been asking state lawmakers to approve legislation that would create a path for local pension funds to join the state pension system.

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