Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Good Jane vs. Bad Jane

MARCH 2002
- Swift Backs 3% COLA, But Cuts Pension Funding... Again - Acting Governor Jane Swift submitted her FY'03 state budget
(effective July 1, 2002) this January, containing two items of great
concern to retired state employees and teachers.

Early Retirement Underway

MARCH 2002
- 5-Year Bonus Tempts Employees - Ten years after the Commonwealth's first-ever Early Retirement
Incentive (ERI) program, droves of eligible state employees are again
taking advantage of a five-year service time or age bonus by agreeing
to retire on March 15, 2002.

EDITORIAL: Freeze The Tax Rollback

MAY 2002
- It probably won’t happen, but the fiscal crisis now underway in the
Commonwealth calls for a freeze of the state income tax rollback.

Governor Is Off Base With Pension Fund Proposal

JANUARY 2002
- Our Association has been more than fair with Governor Jane Swift ever
since she inherited the Corner Office from Governor Cellucci. We have
even gone so far as dropping "Acting" from the prefix which is commonly
used by the press in referring to Swift.But
when the Governor filed a proposal to arbitrarily change the
Commonwealth's long-range pension funding schedule, the backbone of our
state and teachers' retirement plans, she was treading on dangerous
ground.

Early Retirement Legislation Filed

JANUARY 2002 - First 6,700 Applicants Would Go By Spring - Dejavu struck Beacon Hill as Governor Jane Swift filed an early retirement bill

Legislation On Temporary Hold

JANUARY 2002
- When the House and Senate adjourned on Thanksgiving eve, it signaled
the cessation of all formal legislative activity for the remainder of
the year. Most legislation came to a standstill during the lengthy
budget process and will be taken up when the Legislature returns in
January for the second half of the 2001-2002 session.

Tax Break For Pensions Now In Congress

NOVEMBER 2001
- While the recently enacted federal tax cut law (the Economic Growth
and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) reduces the tax on at least
the first $6,000 of the pension for a retiree ($10,000 for a couple),
the fact remains that one's public pension is subject to federal income
tax. In contrast, a taxpayer may be able to exclude all of his Social
Security if one-half of his SS benefits plus his other income does not
exceed $25,000 ($32,000 for a couple).

Legislative Status Report

SEPTEMBER 2001 - As we have previously mentioned,
the Joint Committee on Public Service has completed the first round of
public hearings and has discharged a number of bills. The following is
the Association’s 2001-2002 legislative package. In all, some eighteen
separate bills are being actively supported by the Association.

Public Service Committee Acts On Association Bills

SEPTEMBER 2001 - Joyce & Dempsey Key To Retirees - It took months of public hearings, countless
hours of testimony from advocates, and many long days of work by the
staff, but on June 26 the Joint Committee on Public Service completed
the first leg of the 2001-2002 Legislative Session.

Boston Teachers May Enter State System

JULY 2001 - House Budget Seeks Change For New Hires - In
November, we reported on a bill that would have transferred Boston
teachers into the Commonwealth’s Teachers’ Retirement System. The late
filed bill, sponsored by the House Republican Leader Francis Marini,
died when the last session ended.As
we predicted, the issue re-emerged during the current session, when an
amendment was added to the House version of the FY’02 state budget.
Instead of being championed by the GOP, this time the issue is being
promoted by a member of the Democratic leadership team, Representative
Paul Casey (D-Winchester).