Pensions the latest political risk for RI governor

AP News

10/30/2011 4:00:51 PM - AP News
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) may be winning back the support of the state's business community with a major public pension overhaul proposal, but he risks losing support from labor unions.Chafee's first 10 months in office have been tumultuous. He enraged critics of illegal immigration by backing a policy giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. He disappointed medical marijuana advocates by blocking a plan to license pot dispensaries.The pension fight may be his greatest gamble yet. The proposal to overhaul the public retirement system has won praise from business leaders — who opposed Chafee last spring for trying to expand sales taxes. But public workers and labor unions say Chafee's pension plan is a betrayal.Chafee insists he's doing what he must to improve the state's economy.