Bill Allowing Retirees Greater Earnings While Working In Public Sector Vetoed By Governor

December 26, 2006: In a surprise veto, Governor Mitt Romney rejected H263 and returned it to the Legislature on December 22. Romney's veto message said: "This legislation allows an individual under section 91 of chapter 32 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, to earn $15,000 more than the salary of the position from which the person was retired or was terminated. While I support the goal to increase reliance on part-time employees (thus avoiding the need to hire full-time employees with costly benefit packages), I do not believe that this is the best method to accompish it."

On December 18, House Bill 263 was enacted by the House and Senate during an informal session. H263 amends Section 91 of Chapter 32, increasing the amount of annual allowable earnings of retirees working in the public sector by $15,000. There is no change in the 960 hour limit. H263 was filed by Rep. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, on behalf of the Mass. Police Association. It will benefit retired police officers, among others, who frequently reach their maximum allowable
earnings on road details well within the 960 hours. It was expected that Governor Romney would sign H263 into law. The Mass. Police Association endorsed Governor Romney and most recently the candidacy of Lt. Governor Healey for governor. The following is the language of House 263:

91. (b) of Chapter 32 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "exceed" in line 87, the following words: - ; by more than $15,000.