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CENTRAL FALLS â€“ One of the ways that Central Falls resolved its 2011 bankruptcy was by drastically cutting the pensions of city retirees, in some cases by as much as 55 percent. As a result, some retired police officers and firefighters lost their homes to foreclosure; some wound up on welfare.
To make matters worse, their health care package was also reduced, a severe blow for many of the aging cops and firemen, some of them with lingering injuries they sustained on the job.
Two years of lobbying, cajoling and eventually even begging state lawmakers for relief paid off on Tuesday as Gov. Lincoln Chafee showed up at City Hall to celebrate the passage of legislation that restores the retireesâ€™ pensions to 75 percent of their original amount.
Don Cardin, a retired firefighter who showed up to see the governor sign the bills (which actually became law several weeks ago), said that action â€świll let us live our lives with decent income and pensions rather than having to fight for our lives with the cuts that we were handed, which we thought were unjust.â€ť
â€śIt was enormous, I was almost through the ceiling when I heard it,â€ť former police officer Bruce Ogni said.
Read the rest of the story in Wednesday's newspaper.