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PROVIDENCE â€“ A complex and intricate proposed settlement of the lawsuits challenging the watershed 2011 pension reform law provides minor sweeteners in benefits to state and municipal employees and retirees while preserving the lionâ€™s share of the savings to state and local taxpayers.
Swathed in the secrecy of a Superior Court judgeâ€™s gag order until Friday afternoon, the proposed settlement is the product of 14 months of federally-mediated negotiations among lawyers for the state and scores of labor union locals, as well as a raft of accountants, actuaries and other experts. It was finally unveiled before a legion of reporters for newspapers, television stations, radio stations, bloggers and Internet news operations on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend after the General Assembly had decamped for its weeklong winter recess.
But the handshakes that sealed the proposed settlement marked just the first step in a long and tortuous process before the deal becomes official.
Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Times and Saturday's Call.