Cup ‘o (Pro)Jo: November 9, 2011

Panicked Undecided about life after Brown? Perhaps you should consider a career in politics. Yesterday Alex Morse ’11 defeated incumbent Elaine Pluta in the mayoral race in his hometown of Holyoke, MA, becoming the city’s first openly gay mayor. His campaign featured support from Rep. David Cicilline ’83, D-R.I., for whom he had interned as a student at Brown.

Over 3,500 Union-members from throughout Rhode Island rallied outside of the State House yesterday in opposition to the pension overhaul legislation currently under debate in the General Assembly. The legislation — proposed by Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo Oct. 18 — would slash benefits to state employees and retirees. The state is cutting pensions in response to a gigantic pension shortfall, which the state has calculated to be $9.4 billion, though researchers at George Mason recently estimated a total nearly double the state’s number. The bill is still under debate due to lawmakers’ concerns about the suspension of cost-of-living increases for retirees and the requirement that many state employees wait until they qualify for Social Security before they retire. It also faces opposition from mayors throughout the state who last week testified before the General Assembly, asking for state support for local pension plans. The General Assembly plans to put a newly-revised version of the state’s multibillion-dollar pension overhaul to vote in the House and Senate Finance Committees on Thursday.

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