R.I. Treasurer, URI’s College of Business Administration to work together on pension reform

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KINGSTON, R.I. – July 17, 2011 – The Rhode Island General Treasurer is joining forces with the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration to help craft a comprehensive solution for state pension system reform. The state’s pension crisis has been described as one of the worst in the country.

In an effort to keep the community and all stakeholders involved during this process, a comment period and an advisory group have been launched as part of a new initiative called Secure Path RI.

“Rhode Islanders must take action and engage on this issue as much as possible, because this issue affects everyone,” General Treasurer Gina Raimondo said when she announced the partnership June 15 with Governor Lincoln D. Chafee.

As part of Secure Path RI, the College of Business Administration will help collect and organize ideas from constituents for pension system reform. Ideas for reform may be entered through the Secure Path RI website or by mailing: Secure Path RI – Constituent Ideas, URI, College of Business, 7 Lippitt Road, Kingston, R.I. 02881.

“Providing the public with an opportunity to weigh in on such a critical issue facing our state is a significant step in the process of addressing the public pension crisis,” said Mark Higgins, dean of URI’s College of Business Administration. “We are pleased, as the state’s flagship University, to assist the General Treasurer with an important issue that impacts all Rhode Islanders.”

Higgins is a member of the 12-person advisory committee that is charged with helping vet and organize a solution that will be submitted to the General Assembly in October.

The initiative comes on the heels of URI’s annual Vangermeersch Endowed Lecture in April, which attracted hundreds to the Kingston campus to understand how the state’s pension woes affect every Rhode Islander.