Updated March 6 at 11:06am

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Chafee postpones Israel trip for pension debate

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PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee postponed a November trade mission to Israel in order to stay in Rhode Island while the General Assembly debates a proposed pension reform bill, the governor’s office said Wednesday.

The trip will be rescheduled for a time in the “near future,” Chafee said in a news release.

The postponement came as the House and Senate finance committees met Wednesday to discuss the pension bill; supporters and opponents of the measure held rallies outside the Statehouse.

“While I was looking forward to a productive business development trip to Israel next month, Rhode Island legislators are working hard to enact historic legislation and I need to remain in Rhode Island to continue to advocate for truly comprehensive pension reform,” Chafee said. “There is no issue that is more critical to Rhode Island’s economic development and fiscal stability than pension reform.”

While Chafee won’t be there, a group of Rhode Island business leaders and academics led by Avi Nevel, president of Nevel International LLC, will be heading to Israel next week on a business to business visit.

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