Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Legislative Package Pending

JULY 2001
- Public Service Committee Weighs Options - With over 1,000 separate pieces of legislation to examine, the Joint
Committee on Public Service continues to hold weekly hearings while
committee members and staff weigh the various issues before them.

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).

Credit For Military Service Considered

JULY 2001 - Association Fights For Inclusion Of Retirees - At
a Public Service Committee hearing on May 22, speaking on behalf of
legislation (S1321) filed by Senator Edward Clancy Jr. (D-Lynn),
Association lobbyists asked that retirees be included in the 1996 law
(Ch. 17) which allowed actively employed veterans to purchase up to
four years service credit.Chapter
17 granted veterans, as defined under Chapter 32, the ability to
purchase up to four years of their military time to use towards their
Massachusetts pension. Veterans, as defined under the retirement law,
must have served in active duty during certain dates of war and
conflict.

Swift Names Forman Chief Of Staff

JULY 2001 - Represented Governor On GIC & PERAC - Governor
Jane Swift has named Peter Forman as her chief of staff, as she begins
her tenure in the corner office. Forman, a Plymouth native, served for
14 years as a state representative, including four as House minority
leader. In 1995, he was appointed by former Governor Bill Weld as
Sheriff of Plymouth County.After
twice being elected sheriff by wide margins, he stepped down from the
office in late 1999, at the request of former Governor Paul Cellucci,
to serve as the Governor’s Undersecretary for Administration and
Finance. It was in this capacity that Forman worked closely with the
Association on a number of issues.

New Census Figures Released

MAY 2001 -
Some Shift in Political Boundary Lines Expected - With the release of the Year 2000 census figures on March 22, the
special joint legislative committee began the intensely political
process of redrawing the Commonwealth’s congressional, senatorial and
representative districts.The
joint committee consists of eight senators, chaired by Senator Stanley
Rosenberg (D-Amherst) and 21 representatives, chaired by Representative
Thomas Petrolati (D-Ludlow). Because of the population shift since the
last census in 1990, there will undoubtedly be several realignment
changes in the boundaries of the various districts. Each district must
encompass equal population with other districts. The new districts must
be in place in time for the 2002 election season.

House Ways And Means Increases Pension Appropriation

MAY 2001 -
Three Percent State, Teacher COLA Included - House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, John Rogers has increased the
state’s appropriation to the Commonwealth’s pension liability fund by
$52 million in the FY2002 House Budget.

Public Service Committee Off To Fast Start

MAY 2001 - Hearings To Last Through June - Members
will appreciate the rapid pace the Joint Committee on Public Service
has set for the beginning of the new legislative session. With hearings
scheduled every week from February to late June, the Committee is well
on its way toward reviewing all 700 bills now before it.

MMA Seeks To Delay All Pension Bills

MAY 2001 - Wants Another Blue-Ribbon Study - Our old friends at the Massachusetts Municipal Association are
at it again. This time they come as white knights reputedly to save our
Chapter 32 retirement plan from its “serious flaws” by filing a
broad-based bill (H2067), which will address the ills of our pension
systems, but would also delay all pending legislation, including COLA
improvements.A March 8 seminar at
Stonehill College, sponsored by the MMA, was the first unveiling of the
MMA’s legislation, which will be heard in Gardner Auditorium at the
State House this May 24.

Governor Vetoes Veterans' Status Bill

MARCH 2001 - Would Have Included Peacetime Personnel - Legislation,
that would have given veterans' status to anyone with at least one year
of military service, was vetoed by Governor Cellucci at the tail end of
last year's legislative session.

Strong Support For Legislative Package

MARCH 2001 -
Bipartisan "Coalition" Backs Association - Members savvy to the ways of Beacon Hill know that legislative success
often rests on the strength of those legislators sponsoring the bill.
Thankfully, the Association has been able to secure the support of a
number of key legislators to sponsor our legislative package for the
2001-2002 session.