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Mediation in Rhode Island pension lawsuits fails; challenge of landmark overhaul moves forward

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Talks to salvage a proposed settlement that would end the legal fight over Rhode Island's 2011 landmark pension overhaul have failed, and the court challenge is moving ahead.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo on Friday announced the settlement agreement failed and mediation ended "due to a small group of union members." They called it "disappointing and frustrating."

The plaintiffs issued a statement saying the state ended the mediation. Chafee's spokeswoman would not comment.

The law was designed to save the state billions, but public-sector unions and retirees sued.

A proposed settlement was announced in February, but police union members, the smallest of the six groups that had to approve the proposal, rejected it. The judge then ordered continued mediation.

The Canadian Press

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