Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

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.

No Change In Makeup Of Key Pension Agency

Attempt To Add State Treasurer, MACRS Pres. Vetoed
- Legislation which would have seated the State Treasurer and the
President of the Mass. Association of Contributory Retirement Systems
(MACRS) as commissioners on PERAC, the Commonwealth's key retirement
system oversight and regulatory agency, failed to survive Governor
Cellucci's veto pen this July.

Governor Approves Landmark Retirement Changes

Legislature Comes Through For Retirees - In a move to be applauded by public retirees, Governor Paul Cellucci
approved several key changes in the state retirement law, which will
have a major impact on the lives of many members.

Right To Remarry Going To Governor

JULY 2000 -
Legislature Adds Provision To Budget - One of the oldest most archaic provisions of Massachusetts retirement
law (Chapter 32) is about to change. After years of lobbying by
survivors, the Professional Firefighters (PFFM), the Mass Police
Association, and our Association, those members receiving survivor’s
pensions will now be able to remarry if they so chose.

Disability Retirees Win First Round In Their Appeals Regarding Earned Income

JULY 2000 - At the first of the year (January Voice), we reported on a growing controversy over what was earned income for disability retirees.
To recap, the retirement law tightly controls the amount a disability
retiree can earn and if he earns above that, his pension can be
reduced, dollar for dollar. (Note: These same restrictions do not apply
to retirees on regular, non-disability pensions.)

Senate Provides For Gic Appeals

JULY 2000 -
Amendment Addresses Drug Program - As the groundswell of outrage surrounding the Group Insurance
Commission’s new prescription drug program continued to grow, the state
Senate passed an amendment designed to ease retiree fears. Filed by
Senator Brian Joyce (D-Milton) on behalf of our Association, the
amendment (#661) requires the GIC to establish a prescription drug
appeals process.

Association Opposes Tax Cut Initiative

JULY 2000 -
Calls Ballot Question "Dangerous" - Buried beneath the hype and prestige of the presidential election this
November is a ballot initiative that seeks to roll the state income tax
rate back to 5%. The proposal is sponsored by Citizens For Limited
Taxation and Government (CLTG), along with the political backing of
Governor Paul Cellucci and most of the state’s Republican establishment.

Legislative Update

JULY 2000 -
Formal Sessions To End July 31 - After many long months of lobbying, much of the Association’s
legislative package was acted on as part of the FY 2001 state budget.
In addition to the annual COLA, non-contributory COLA, dental coverage,
prescription drug appeals, and the right to remarry law, our
legislative team was successful in passing several other key provisions
as riders in the so called "outside sections" of the budget.