Politics

Articles about Politics that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Former Speaker Remembered For His Pension Legislation Leadership

2007 MAR - Although former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Thomas Finneran, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice this January and was pilloried by the news media as expected, it is only fair that our members be reminded of Finneran’s work on behalf of public sector retirees and survivors.

Paul Doane Appointed to Pension Oversight Agency

2007 MAR - Harwich Republican Is Former State Senator - One of outgoing Governor Mitt Romney’s appointments which we wholeheartedly agree, was the naming of Paul Doane to fill a seat on the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), the state’s key pension oversight agency. Doane’s term will run until October 29, 2010.

Ben Downing is New Sentate Chairman of Public Service Committee

2007 MAR - Senate President Robert Travaglini has named Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) to the post of Senate Chairman of the Public Service Committee, the key committee which acts on all pension legislation.

Patrick Makes Two Key Appointments

2007 MAR - Among the many appointments that our new governor, Deval Patrick, has made there are two that are of special importance to our Association.

NEW ASSOCIATION DESIGNEE ON FRAMINGHAM COALITION BARGAINING COMMITTEE

JAN 2007 - Over 13 years ago, Framingham became the second municipality to adopt the coalition bargaining law (Section 19), with Lexington being the first. “We’re pleased to report that coalition bargaining is operating smoothly in Framingham, and will continue to do so,” according to Associations Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman.

2007-2008 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

JAN 2007 - Strengthening Benefits For Public Retirees - Led by its chairman, Bill Hill, the Association’s Legislative Committee has filed the following 18 pieces of legislation for the 2007-2008 Session of the Massachusetts Legislature. As an integral part of the process, the Committee has obtained the commitment of several key legislators, from both the House and Senate, as sponsors of our bills.

“With this program, we’ve sought to address the major issues currently affecting public retirement,” according to Hill. “It’s a comprehensive approach, offering sensible solutions.”

You will find below a brief summary of the bills, each contained within the appropriate subject matter heading. The complete listing of bill numbers and sponsors will be included in the March edition of the Voice. Editor’s Note: Please be aware that this listing marks the very beginning of the legislative process for the bills outlined  below. There will be a public hearing on each bill during the upcoming months, after which time further action can be considered.

ROMNEY SHORTS RETIREES ON LIFE INSURANCE

JAN 2007 - Appointees Oppose Benefit Increase - In what can only be viewed as a backhanded dismissal of retirees, Governor Mitt Romney has allowed his hand-picked appointees to the state’s Group Insurance Commission, to vote down a plan that would have increased the basic life insurance for state retirees.

OPTIMISM HIGH FOR NEW SESSION

JAN 2007 - Bills Receive BiPartisan Support - Change will take place on Beacon Hill come January 4, when Deval Patrick is sworn in as the Commonwealth’s new governor. Along with a new chief executive comes a new administration, with a different focus than the outgoing Republican administration.

STATE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF: AN OVERVIEW FOR RETIREES

Jan 2007 - During the recent election,
candidates spoke out against higher property taxes forcing retirees out of
their homes. That criticism begs the question: what is being done right now to
provide tax relief.

RETIREMENT SYSTEM DEFENSE MOUNTS

JAN 2007 - Report Rebuffs Pioneer Attack - The top priority at the fall
conference of the Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems (MACRS)
was the same as that of the spring conference: Put a halt to the negative
attacks on our state’s 106 retirement systems.