Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

House Speaker Shuffles The Deck

MARCH 2001 -
Rogers and Dempsey Chair Key Committees - On January 24, Governor Paul Cellucci submitted his FY2002 state budget
(H1) to the Legislature. Included in the $22.5 billion budget package
was language that would trigger a 3% COLA for eligible retired state
employees and teachers this July.

Tax Cut Passes Overwhelmingly: Despite Retiree Opposition

JANUARY 2001 -
Election results in November for the eight statewide ballot questions
proved to be a mixed bag for public retirees. Beyond the cliffhanger
finish of the Presidential Election, several of the ballot questions
would have an immediate impact on retirees.

2001 - 2002 Legislative Program

JANUARY 2001 -
Chaired by William Hill, the Association's Legislative Committee has
been working with members of the General Court to craft a legislative
program for the 2001-2002 session. The following are summaries of each
of the fifteen bills that the Association has filed, with the lead
sponsors, for the coming session.

Association Files For New COLA Base

JANUARY 2001 -
Fifteen Bills in 2001 Legislative Package - As is the custom at the end of an election year, the Association has
filed a new legislative package to be considered during the coming
two-year legislative session, which begins on January 3, 2001. The fifteen bills contained within the package represent a comprehensive overview of the many issues affecting our members.

Boston Teachers' Transfer Proposal Causes Stir

Issue May Emerge Again In Next Session - A late-filed bill in the recent legislative session, which would have
transferred Boston teachers to the Commonwealth's Teachers' Retirement
System, caused quite a stir at the time.

Vote NO on 4

Question 4: Tax Cut Just Too Deep! - "If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is." This age
old adage has meaning this November, as members evaluate how they will
vote on a ballot question which would roll the state’s income tax rate
back to 5%.

New Benefit For Retired Troopers

Pensions Will Not Drop Below 50% - State police, who retired prior to July 1, 1992 due to an accidental
disability or retired on a superannuation pension with 20 years
service, will now have their pensions kept at 50% of the current salary of their former grade or position.

Disabled State Troopers: New Return-To-Work Law

Back in '96, the pension law on returning disability retirees to their
former jobs was expanded to include state police (Chapter 306, Acts of
'96). Ever since then, there have been ongoing disputes among disabled
troopers, their former department, and employee union over returning
them to work.

Ballot Question Endangers Municipal Insurance

Tax Cut Could Force Local Cuts - Members, insured under one of the many health insurance plans offered
through the state's municipalities, should pay very close attention to
the pending ballot initiative that seeks to roll back the state income
tax rate to 5%.

Teachers Can Return To Work And Keep Full Pension

A little-known feature of the teachers' alternative retirement plan
(Ch. 114) which was passed this June allows teachers, who did not
retire under the alternative plan, to return to work after 60 days
without any earnings or time limit restriction. This means that a
teacher who retired in June could come back to work in any school this
September and still collect a full pension.