Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Walsh Protects Pension Rights

- A protection long-held by public employees in Massachusetts was saved
through the efforts of State Senator Marian Walsh of West Roxbury.

212 Accept Springfield Bonus

- Local Early-Outs Underway - The city of Springfield opened the Commonwealth's optional early
retirement incentive program (Chapter 116) with a bang. By June 21,
which the city had set as the last date for retiring, 212 Springfield
employees had accepted the five-year ERI bonus and were out the door.
Included in this number were 35 firefighters and 19 police officers.Quincy,
which had been the first city to accept Chapter 116, retired an even
100 employees on June 30. Only 4 firefighters and 3 police signed to
accept the five-year offer.

Quincy First To Offer ERI

JULY 2002 - The
City of Quincy had the honor of being the first community in the
Commonwealth to accept Chapter 116, the local government early
retirement incentive plan.

Tax Package Nears Final Passage

JULY 2002
- Unlike previous years when the state's economy was robust, this
year's budget debate stands in marked contrast, as major decisions on
taxes had to be made by the Legislature. Debate in both the House and
Senate was punctuated by intense negotiations between leadership and
members over the specific taxes to be included in a package.

ERIs May Save Local Jobs

JULY 2002
- Communities Taking Quick Action - The passage of a local government early retirement incentive (ERI)
bill on May 22 may have come just in time to save some jobs in our
cities and towns.

Local Early Retirement Nears Approval

MAY 2002
- Strong Support In Legislature - Early retirement legislation, similar to that offered to Group 1
state employees and Group 2 court personnel, is now in the legislative
pipeline at the State House.

Leaders Tackle Fiscal Crisis

MAY 2002
- Pension Fund Reduction Not On Table - Faced with a $2.3 billion FY ‘03 budget deficit, Legislative leaders
continue to grapple with ways to reduce the huge gap, while at the same
time deal with a $600 million deficit in the current fiscal year which
ends this July 1.

MWRA Early-Out Adopted

MARCH 2002 - An early retirement incentive program is now underway at the Mass Water Resources Authority.

Dimasi Is New House Majority Leader

MARCH 2002
- Championed 1997 COLA Reform - Old friend Representative Sal DiMasi, of Boston's North End, was
recently named House Majority Leader by Speaker Thomas Finneran. The
slot, the second highest office in the House, had been open for several
months after the resignation of Bill Nagle, who was appointed
clerk-magistrate of the Ware District Court.Members
will remember that it was DiMasi who led the 1997 charge on the House
floor to win COLA reform legislation (Ch.17), in the face of tremendous
opposition by mayors and municipal officials.

Chandler To Chair Key Committee

MARCH 2002 - Worcester Senator Eager To Begin Work - Just days before press time, Senate President Thomas Birmingham announced several changes in Senate Committee assignments.Key
to our Association's legislative program, was the appointment of
Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) to the Senate chairmanship of
the Legislature's Joint Committee on Public Service. This Committee is
the first stop for all public retirement and insurance legislation.