Proposal Remains in House

JULY 25, 2008: With a less than a week to go before the end of formal legislative activity for the 2007-2008 session on July 31, the Association’s proposal to increase the COLA base to $16,000 remains before the House of Representatives. The COLA increase, which was passed for retired state employees and teachers as part of the FY09 State Budget, was returned to the Legislature by Governor Patrick on July 12, with a counter proposal by the Governor that would limit thenew base to those retirees with pensions less than $40,000.

Association officers have been working closely with officials from the MA Teachers Association (MTA) and American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts in an attempt to place the COLA base increase back before the Legislature for a new vote before the end of the session on July 31. Under legislative rules, the House must first approve the bill (H4959), before it can be reenacted by the Senate.

“It is now crunch time on Beacon Hill and we have pulled out every stop to get this proposal back before the governor without a limit on which retirees qualify. Placing arbitrary means tests on who is eligible is not something the Association supports, even though the majority of our members are well under $40,000,” explains Association President Ralph White. “If you are a retired state employee or teacher, I ask that you contact your State Representative and Senator to explain the importance of increasing the base this year.”