Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Legislative Update

SEPTEMBER 2011 VOICE: Despite the time and intense effort focused on Municipal Health Insurance Reform over the first seven months of the 2011-12 Legislative Session, progress was made on several Association sponsored bills. To date, most of the bills, contained within the Association’s Legislative Package, have received a public hearing.

PENSION REFORM UNFAIR TO NEW EMPLOYEES

PENSION REFORM UNFAIR TO NEW EMPLOYEES

Association Takes A Stand

JULY 2011 VOICE: With over a half century of knowledge and experience working with our public pension laws, Association President Ralph White is widely respected when it comes to our state's pension policies. Having led the Association since 1968, he has also had a hand in formulating the state's renowned defined benefit (DB) pension plan.

MUNICIPAL HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM IN SPOTLIGHT

JULY 2011 VOICE: With pension reform in the spotlight for three years and still underway, municipal health insurance reform has temporarily pushed pensions to the back-burner as the House and Senate have tackled head-on the long-simmering municipal health insurance quandary.

Pension Reform Legislation Filed By Governor Deval Patrick

Pension Reform Legislation Filed By Governor Deval Patrick

Eliminates Early Retirement For Many

FEBRUARY 17, 2011: Governor Deval Patrick has filed legislation, HB35, which creates a new retirement formula for state and local government employees hired after July 1, 2011. At this time the Governor has strong support for reform by both the House and Senate Leaders.

Among a number of changes in our current statute, the Group 1 pension formula, which includes the vast majority of public employees, does not allow retirement until age 60 and changes the 80% maximum formula age from 65 to 67.

Local Insurance Changes Loom

Local Insurance Changes Loom

GIC Mandate Proposed

Filing his third barebones budget in as many years, Governor Deval Patrick has proposed a significant change to local health insurance plans in an attempt to plug growing budget deficits that are the result of the ongoing economic recession.

In addition to slashing the budget of the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) by $100 million for FY12, the Governor is also proposing a 7% cut in non-school local aid to cities and towns. In order to offset local aid cuts, Patrick has reintroduced a plan that could drastically alter municipal health plans.

Bad pension policies should not be grandfathered

EDITORIAL — Lawmakers like to hold up their pension reform measures like they’ve bagged a trophy buck but the persistence of embarrassing tales of retirement bonanzas make their efforts seem less like heroic encounters and more like a game of Whac-A-Mole.

Deck Shuffled For Legislative Leaders

House and Senate Committees Take Shape

February 4, 2011: Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo have each shuffled the deck with a realignment of their respective leadership teams for the new 2011-2012 Legislative Session. Of direct importance to public retirees are the Joint Committee on Public Service, as well as the respective House and Senate Ways and Means Committees.

All Eyes On Beacon Hill

Pensions & Health Insurance Still Hot Topics

JANUARY 2011 VOICE: Following an election cycle that witnessed the successful reelection of many Association endorsed candidates, attention has turned to what challenges and opportunities may develop during the new legislative session.

For the first time in decades, Massachusetts will simultaneously swear in a new state Treasurer and Auditor.  And since both offices are of the utmost importance to public retirees, our Association will remain in close contact with Steve Grossman and Suzanne Bump as they take office.

LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE UNDER REVIEW

Hearings Scheduled Through November

JULY 2009: Beyond the budget debate and various "reform" measures capturing daily headlines, the sixteen standing legislative committees are hard at work analyzing the thousands of proposals now before the Legislature.

Legislative Team Focuses On 2008

JANUARY 2008: The coming six months are critical to the success of the Association’s 2007-2008 Legislative Agenda. Although the current session runs until January 2009, the Legislature stops meeting in formal session at the end of July.

At the start of the session, the Association had filed bills addressing 18 different issue areas of importance to public retirees. Hearings on these bills, which were conducted by the Joint Committee on Public Service, were completed in July.