JULY 15,
On Sunday, Governor Deval Patrick
signed the FY’09 State Budget into law, which then took effect immediately. The
governor did not approve the $16,000 COLA base for retired state employees and
teachers, the had been included in the legislative section of the budget, as
passed by the House and Senate. Instead, Governor Patrick chose to propose a new
COLA scheme contained in a new section: 12A. This section, if approved, by the
House and Senate, would limit the $16,000 base to retirees with annual pensions
under $40,000. Those with pensions of $40,000 or above would retain a $12,000

If you pension is $40,000 or greater, or will reach
$40,000 in the coming years due to additional COLAs, we would urge you to
contact your Representative or Senator and ask them to reject Section 12A, which
restricts the new COLA base to pensions of under $40,000. We will continue to
lobby against a restrictive $16,000 COLA base, but we need your help.

If the House and Senate repeat their earlier unanimous vote
before the end of this week, it will be assured that there will be enough votes
and enough time for a later override vote, should the governor veto the
unrestricted $16,000 base. With the Legislature set to end its formal business
on July 31, time is certainly of the essence. After July 31, a vote to override
a veto will no longer be possible.

you for your previous assistance when the $16,000 COLA base was earlier enacted
by the House and Senate.