June 12,
- We are now
approaching the final days of meetings between the House and Senate FY’09 State
Budget Conference Committee members. While the House and Senate earlier voted
on a new $16,000 COLA base for state and teacher retirees, subject to a final
budget vote, the House budget did not include local government retirees.
However, the Senate did unanimously vote for an amendment, which would include
retires for all of our 104 local retirement systems.

statewide opposition by the press has focused on all retirement systems –
state, teachers as well as local. The Mass. Municipal Association (MMA) has
focused on local retirement systems, portending dire fiscal results if the
legislation passes. In a letter to individual members of the House and Senate
the MMA predicted staggering costs to the cities and towns if the House and
Senate vote in favor of the bill. We have countered with truthful fiscal data
and the very stringent requirement for county and regional governments to accept
the proposed statute.

By now, the
members of the Conference Committee have heard from both sides. We thank you
for writing or calling members of the Legislature and Conference Committee on
behalf of this $10-a-month maximum COLA increase. In these waning days, please
continue to make contact with members of the Conference Committee and your own
Rep. or Senator on behalf of the small $10 COLA adjustment. It’s the right
thing to do.

God Bless You,

Ralph White, Association President
Shawn Duhamel, Legislative Liaison