June 18, 2018
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Rhode Island attorney general calls for bath salts ban

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island’s Attorney General says the Ocean State should ban the sale or possession of certain types of bath salts after reports of people becoming ill while using the product as a recreational drug.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says bath salts containing methamphetamine-like substances pose a “severe hazard” to those who inject, snort or smoke them. On Tuesday he called on the state’s health department to make those bath salts a controlled substance. That designation would effectively ban the sale, distribution or possession of the bath salts.

Kilmartin says U.S. poison control centers have received more than 4,000 calls relating to bath salt abuse this year.

Twenty-nine states have banned the products.

The Department of Health has not yet responded to Kilmartin’s request.

RI leaders pitch pension revamp to lawmakers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Hundreds of Rhode Island firefighters and other public workers are filling Statehouse hallways as state lawmakers begin the politically delicate work of overhauling the state’s public retirement system.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo are calling for significant changes to the state’s underfunded pension system, including a new approach that combines 401(k)-style retirement accounts with traditional pensions. Their plan would halt cost-of-living increases for more than 10 years while the state’s pension system stabilizes.

Chafee and Raimondo unveiled their proposal in an address to lawmakers Tuesday night. They say their plan will rein in runaway pension costs while protecting competitive benefits for public workers.

Estimates put Rhode Island’s unfunded liability for public workers’ pensions at $7 billion, nearly as much as the entire state budget for one year.


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