A court ruling favorable to Rhode Island state employees in a pension case is expected to further complicate debate in the state, where pensions have been central to a municipal bankruptcy and where a special legislative session will convene next month to discuss pension overhaul.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ruled Tuesday that the retirement system is essentially “an implied contract” between the state and its employees. She allowed eight public employee unions to go ahead with a lawsuit seeking to block pension reductions.

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