OCTOBER 12, 2007: Governor Deval Patrick and legislative leaders have agreed to extend the deadline for local governments to join the state's Group Insurance Commission to October 29, 2007. Originally, an October 1, 2007 deadline existed under the law. However, due to local interest in joining the GIC and the fact that negotiations are underway in a number of local communities, state leaders opted to extend the deadline.

Chapter 67 of the Acts of 2007 allows local governments the local option to enroll their retirees and active employees in the state-run GIC for their health insurance coverage. The law requires that a local Public Employee Committee (PEC) be formed, whereby retirees and active employees would have a vote in the decision making process. A transfer to the state GIC can only take place with the approval of the local government AND 70% of the PEC members.

Chapter 68 grants the Association the right to appoint one local retiree to each PEC committee. This member would represent the retirees from his/her local community at the coalition bargaining table. By law, retirees have a 10% weighted vote on the PEC.