Update: Post-Retirement Work Hours Budget Language and Special Waiver Extension in The Works

Update: Post-Retirement Work Hours Budget Language and Special Waiver Extension in The Works

June 2, 2021 - Last Thursday the State Senate completed their FY22 budget debate and soon the conference committee will begin their work to hammer out a final document. As reported prior, the House voted unanimously to support the Mass Retirees amendment, filed by Representative Mark Cusack, that would increase the post retirement work hours from 960 hours to 1200 hours. While Senator Mike Brady did file the same amendment on the Senate side the language was not included. The Senate process was tighter with regard to policy changes as outside sections, with a limited number of amendments adopted. The amendment language will now be part of the conference committee process. We will be engaging with the members of the conference committee over the coming weeks as they work through the differences in the versions. 

In addition to the work being done on the budget language, we are working to seek an extension of the special waiver on the hours and earnings restrictions until December 31, 2021. Since the announcement of the lifting of the state of emergency on June 15th, the House and Senate have asked the Governor to identify the COVID-19 emergency policies that have been in place. The House and Senate have taken steps to identify how the Commonwealth will proceed with the pandemic recovery. The House has named a special committee to review the policies and the Senate has named a member as the point person for the branch. Also, the Senate Ways and Means Committee accepted testimony on two initial bills related to restaurants and local government procedures. 

There is an acknowledgement that the impact of the pandemic will not be over when the state of emergency is lifted. Much of the work being done by public retirees will continue for the foreseeable future and extending the waiver will allow for this without retirees being impacted and provide for an easier transition. We will be working with our allies in both branches to advocate for the extension. We have also submitted testimony to both Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues and House Ways and Means Chair Michlewitz in support of extending the waiver. Finally, we will be continuing engagement with the Administration to seek the inclusion of the extension in any additional legislation filed by the Governor. 

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