- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The House has passed legislation to increase the pensions of Central Falls retirees who saw them cut during municipal bankruptcy proceedings.

The $4.8 million cost will be spread out in coming years. The Senate passed a similar measure.

The city in 2011 became the first in Rhode Island to declare municipal bankruptcy. A state-appointed receiver cut pensions, some by 55 percent.

But the General Assembly in 2012 approved a “transition fund” of $2.6 million to push the pension levels back up to 75 percent of the base amount for five years.

Democratic Rep. Agostinho Silva says the legislation is designed to keep the pensions from dropping again after that.

Rep. Jared Nunes, another Democrat, worried the measure sets a bad precedent, even if the retirees deserve the money.

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