BUDGET DEBATE UNDERWAY IN HOUSE

3% COLA Approved & GIC Rates Maintained

APRIL 25, 2012: This week, debate is underway in the House of Representatives over the Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget. The weeklong debate will consider over 850 amendments to the $32 billion budget proposal.

House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill) did include a full 3% COLA, within his budget proposal, for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2011. This COLA for eligible state and teacher retirees would be granted as of July 1 on the new $13,000 state and teacher COLA base, passed last fall, for a maximum increase of $390 in FY13.

The House budget proposal also maintains insurance contribution ratios for state retirees of 90/10, 85/15 or 80/20 depending on a retiree’s date of retirement. All surviving spouses of state retirees/employees are maintained at 90/10.

Retiree Dental Enrollment

Association officials were also successful in passing an amendment, sponsored on our behalf by Rep. Tackey Chan (D-Quincy), which allows municipal retirees, insured under the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), to participate in the GIC’s retiree-pay-all dental plan.

The GIC’s retiree-pay-all dental plan is an optional dental insurance program administered by MetLife. Launched in 2002 after a joint study between our Association and the GIC, the plan now insures over 18,000 state enrollees. Monthly rates are $26.37 (I) and $63.53 (F).

“Unfortunately, the law allowing municipal participation in the GIC was silent on the issue of retiree dental insurance, so the GIC believed that the law did not grant local retirees access to the program,” explained Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel. “Thankfully, Rep. Chan, whose City of Quincy retirees are enrolled in the GIC, was able to get our amendment through in the House.

“The next stop is the Senate, where Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington) is carrying the amendment for the Senate budget process. If passed into law, local retirees insured under the GIC will have the choice to join the state’s retiree dental plan – just like state retirees.”

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