ABOUT THE SPECIAL ELECTION ON JUNE 7:
Over the last 10 years, Providence’s annual pension payment grew by 48%. At the same time, City revenues grew by only 15%. Required annual pension payments are growing faster than City revenues.
Without action, pension payments will take up more and more of the City’s budget – leaving less funding available for important City investments that make our neighborhoods better, like parks, recreation centers, and street and sidewalk repairs.
Providence can’t wait. We need to take action NOW to invest in our future.
Who supports this pension obligation bond?
- Mayor Jorge Elorza and Council President John Igliozzi
- Pension Working Group Co-chairs:
- Michael DiBiase, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council President & CEO
- Laurie White, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce President
- Cliff Wood, Providence Foundation Executive Director
- Senator Maryellen Goodwin
- Representative Scott Slater
- Pension Working Group Members:
- Senator Sam Zurier
- Councilwoman Helen Anthony
- Councilman Pedro Espinal
In the special election on June 7th, VOTE YES ON QUESTION 1!
There are many ways to vote in the upcoming special election. What’s your voting plan?
- BY MAIL
Apply for a mail ballot application between NOW-May 17
Once you receive your mail ballot, mail or return your ballot by June 7
- EMERGENCY VOTING
Vote early at Providence City Hall
May 18 – June 6, 2022
Deadline is Monday, June 6, 2022 at 4:00 PM
We’re committed to making the resources available to Providence voters to get their questions answered before they vote in the upcoming special election. Over the next few weeks, Mayor Elorza, the Providence City Council and members of the Providence delegation will be hosting a series of community meetings throughout the City where we will be available to answer your questions:
PowerPoint Presentation can be found here.
- Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 6:00PM at Nathan Bishop Middle School
- Monday, May 2, 2022 at 5:30PM at Mt. Pleasant High School
- Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 5:00PM, held virtually via zoom
- Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 5:30PM at Washington Park Community Center
ABOUT THE PENSION WORKING GROUP:
In response to having one of the lowest funded pension plans in the nation and limited City-controlled options to address these challenges, Mayor Elorza, the Providence City Council, The Providence Foundation, The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council convened a Pension Working Group of leaders from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to review the pension system, identify risks and benefits of meaningful options to stabilize the system, and provide recommendations to inform policy deliberations for stakeholders. The PWG submitted a detailed report, outlining the group’s findings, including a series of recommendations for how to most effectively address the City’s unfunded pension liability.
After much review, discussion, and deliberation, including reviews of differently sized transactions, the Pension Working Group included in the report that Providence should receive state legislative and city voter authorization to issue a pension obligation bond sized to deposit $500 million into the pension system if advantageous borrowing conditions and terms are met.
Currently, the City’s pension expenses are growing at over 5% while revenue is growing at 2%. The Working Group determined that while smaller or larger bond issues could result in positive benefits, the most efficient transaction size is one that deposits $500 million into the employee retirement system (ERS). This allows the City to best position itself to increase the funded status of the pension system and match associated POB debt repayment costs to the City’s conservative, realistic projection of revenues – and enhance budget sustainability. This proposal would lower the projected growth of pension expenses to 2%, matching the projected revenue growth and therefore fixing the long-term structural deficit.
ABOUT THE LEGISLATION:
House Bill 7499 sponsors include Representatives Slater, Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick), Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence), Gregg M. Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence), William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence), Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence), David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence), Carol Hagan-McEntee (D-Dist. 33, Narragansett, South Kingstown), Joshua J. Giraldo (D – District 56, Central Falls), Justine Caldwell (D – District 30 East Greenwich, West Greenwich), Charlene Lima (D – District 14 Cranston, Providence), Leonela Felix (D – District 61 , Pawtucket), Karen Alzate (D – District 60, Pawtucket), Edith H. Ajello (D – District 1, Providence), Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D – District 5, Providence), Patricia A. Serpa (D – District 27 West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), David A. Bennett (D – District 20 Cranston, Warwick), Jose F. Batista (D – District 12, Providence) and Brandon Potter (D – District 16, Cranston).
The companion legislation in the Senate, Senate Bill 2321, sponsors include Senators Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Ana Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Frank A. Ciccone, III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence), Tiara Mack (D-Dist. 6, Providence), Samuel W. Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Samuel Zurier (D-Dist. 3, Providence), Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket), and Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).