Breaking News

HOUSE KEY TO STATE/TEACHER COLA INCREASE

JULY 18, 2008: The prospect of an increased COLA base in 2008 for retired state employees and teachers is now in the hands of the House of Representatives. As members may know, last weekend Governor Deval Patrick rejected the $16,000 COLA base language contained in the FY09 State Budget and sent a counter proposal to the Legislature that would limit the new base to those retirees with pensions of less than $40,000. With the Consumer Price Index (CPI) now at 5.7% through June, raising the COLA base has become an even greater concern for retirees on fixed incomes.

COLA ALERT

JULY 15,
2008:
On Sunday, Governor Deval Patrick
signed the FY’09 State Budget into law, which then took effect immediately. The
governor did not approve the $16,000 COLA base for retired state employees and
teachers, the had been included in the legislative section of the budget, as
passed by the House and Senate. Instead, Governor Patrick chose to propose a new
COLA scheme contained in a new section: 12A. This section, if approved, by the
House and Senate, would limit the $16,000 base to retirees with annual pensions
under $40,000. Those with pensions of $40,000 or above would retain a $12,000
base.

LEGISLATURE APPROVES $16,000 STATE/TEACHER COLA BASE

Local Systems Put On Hold

July 3, 2008: The State Legislature has approved a new $16,000 COLA base for retirees of the State and Teachers’ Retirement Systems (effective this month), but has held off on a local option provision that would have allowed city, town, county, regional, and district systems to also increase the base for local retirees.

ASSOCIATION AWAITS WORD ON COLA BASE INCREASE

JUNE 24, 2008: It does not appear that the House and Senate State Budget Conference Committee will release its FY09 state budget report this week. As members are aware, the fate of an increase to the COLA base now rests with the six-member Conference Committee and the Legislative Leadership.

MEMO TO ALL MEMBERS: COLA UPDATE

June 12,
2008
- We are now
approaching the final days of meetings between the House and Senate FY’09 State
Budget Conference Committee members. While the House and Senate earlier voted
on a new $16,000 COLA base for state and teacher retirees, subject to a final
budget vote, the House budget did not include local government retirees.
However, the Senate did unanimously vote for an amendment, which would include
retires for all of our 104 local retirement systems.

HOUSE/SENATE COMMITTEE REVIEWS COLA PROPOSAL

Association Remains Vigilant

JUNE 6, 2008: House and Senate leaders have now appointed a six-member conference committee to negotiate the differences that exist between the House and Senate versions of the FY09 state budget. The Committee consists of three members each from both branches of the Legislature.

LOCAL COLA BASE

REDRAFT LOC 81

Ms. Walsh, Ms. Jehlen and Ms. Menard and Mssrs. Morrissey, Galluccio, Timility, Hart, Pacheco and Marzilli moved that the bill be amended by deleting Section 15 and inserting in place thereof the following section:

SENATE PASSES ASSOCIATION

Agrees With House On $16,000 State/Teacher Base


May 23, 2008:
After two days of
intense lobbying and as debate on the ’09 State Budget was winding down last
night, the Senate passed the Association’s local option proposal for a new
$16,000 COLA base, as part of its version of the Fiscal ’09 State Budget. While
much still needs to be done to ensure that the proposal remains intact in the
Budget’s final version, the Senate’s action marks a major milestone in the
Association’s continuing efforts to improve the COLA for all retirees – state,
teacher and local.

Mass. Municipal Association Strikes Again

Attempt to Kill $16,000 COLA Base

May 20, 2008: The Mass. Municipal
Association – the advocacy arm of the Commonwealth’s mayors and town managers –
has struck again. This time it was an 11th hour letter to all State
Senators opposing a Senate budget amendment that would allow municipal retirees
to receive a three-percent COLA on a $16,000 base, up from the current $12,000.

CAHILL OPPOSES COLA INCREASE PROPOSAL

Cites ‘Fictitious’ Dangers To Bond Rating

MAY 15, 2008: Striking a body blow to the Association’s hopes of raising the base, to which the annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) is applied, state Treasurer and Receiver General Timothy Cahill has come out against the proposed $16,000 base, passed by the House and contained in the Senate’s FY09 budget. Specifically, the treasurer, who chairs the state’s pension board, is against extending the pension funding schedule by three-years to accommodate this modest increase in the COLA base.