The Associated Press State & Local Wire
DATELINE: PROVIDENCE R.I.
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY’-fee) plans to address a key legislative panel on his plan to give struggling cities relief from pension costs and state mandates.
Chafee, an independent, is expected to testify before the House Finance Committee on Thursday at the Statehouse.
Chafee has proposed legislation that would give financially strapped cities and towns greater authority to cut pension benefits. Chafee’s proposal would also allow the hardest-hit cities to waive certain state mandates to save money.
Chafee’s plan has the support of mayors around the state who say they need greater power to cut pensions to address budget deficits.
Union leaders are fighting the proposals, which they say would unfairly go back on promises made to public workers.
No vote on the legislation has been scheduled.
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