Bill Numbers Assigned to Association's Legislative Package

As the Public Service Committee begins its work, all of the bills, in the Association’s 2015-2016 Legislative Package, have been assigned a number. It should be noted that with certain legislative initiatives, more than one bill may have been introduced on our behalf.

“We’ll keep you updated on each bill, either in the Voice, on our website or the 24-Hour Hotline,” Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel reminds us. “And, remember you can always call us here in the office or at home.” Ed Note: A more complete explanation of each legislative initiative is contained in the March Voice.

Fifteen Bills Filed for 2015-16 Session

HEALTH & LIFE INSURANCE

State Basic Life Insurance Coverage:
S1400 (Sen. Tom McGee) & H2359 (Rep. John Lawn)
Increases basic life insurance for state retirees from $5,000 to $10,000.

Contribution Rates for Existing Local Retirees & Survivors:
S1343 (Sen. Ken Donnelly)
Requires that reductions in premium contribution by a local government shall apply prospectively to retirees who retire on or after the reduction is implemented

Medicare Part B Refund:
S1348 (Sen. Ken Donnelly)
Requires that the state or local government use the federal subsidy under Medicare Part D’s Retiree Drug Subsidy Program to refund the Part B premium paid by their retirees.

Reduce GIC Maximums on Copayments & Deductibles:
Late File SD2014 (Sen. Jim Timilty)
Reduces the current maximum out-of-pocket costs that a GIC retiree must pay from $5,000/$10,000 to $2,500/$5,000.

COST OF LIVING

State & Teachers’ COLA Base (Section 102):
S1406 (Sen. Marc Pacheco)
Increases the State/Teachers’ COLA Base from $13,000 to $16,000 with Triggering Mechanism for future increases.

Local COLA Law (Section 103):
S1362 (Sen. Jen Flanagan)
Prohibits a local system to deny a COLA if its investment return for the prior two years satisfies or exceeds the assumed investment return for its funding schedule and requires local systems to assume paying a 3% COLA on at least the first $12,000 in its funding schedule.

PENSIONS

Recalculation of Option (c) – Extended Retroactively:
H2240 (Rep.Tackey Chan)
Recalculates, with updated mortality table, the pensions of those who retired prior to 7/1/04, when the updated table was implemented, and chose Option (c), and adjusts their pensions prospectively.

SURVIVOR BENEFITS

Survivor Pensions:
S1345 (Sen. Ken Donnelly)

  • Option (d)) Minimum Pension: Increases from $6,000 annually for state/teachers - $6,000 or $3,000 for local – to $7,500 - Local Option.
  • Repeal of Remarriage Penalty – Extended Retroactively: Extends the repeal of the remarriage penalty retroactively to survivors who remarried before 7/1/2000 when the repeal originally took effect.

Survivor Insurance:
H2268 (Rep. Marjorie Decker)
Minimum 50% Employer Contribution: Requires local governments to pay at least 50% of insurance premium.
Insurance Retention: Allows survivors to remarry and continue their coverage if certain conditions are satisfied.

VETERANS

Veterans Bonus Increase:
S1336 (Sen.Vinny deMacedo)
& H3285 (Rep. Jerald Parisella)
Increases the Annual Vets Bonus from $300 to $1,000.

Definition Of Veteran For Vets Bonus – Extended Retroactively:
S1335 (Sen. Vinny deMacedo)
Extends the expanded definition of veteran to those, with the requisite non-wartime or National Guard duty and retired on a superannuation retirement before 8/26/04, in order to receive the veterans bonus prospectively – Local Option.

Veterans Creditable Service – Extended Retroactively:
S1423 (Sen. Mike Rush)
Extends the Vets Creditable Service retroactively to those who retired before 4/25/96 and adjusts their pensions prospectively.

DISABILITY PENSIONS

Disability Evaluations:
H2216 (Rep. Tackey Chan)
Ends periodic medical reviews of disability retirees, reexamined at least four times, unless requested by the retiree.

Conversion of Disability Pension:
S1337 (Sen. Vinny deMacedo)
Allows a disability retiree to convert their disability pension over to a reduced superannuation (regular) retirement allowance, if they want.

Non-Veteran Ordinary
Disability Formula:
S14011 (Sen. Tom McGee) & H2217 (Rep. Tackey Chan)
Establishes a minimum amount of benefits equal to SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability benefits.

Tags: