Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Bill Numbers Assigned to Association's Legislative Package

As the Public Service Committee begins its work, all of the bills, in the Association’s 2015-2016 Legislative Package, have been assigned a number. It should be noted that with certain legislative initiatives, more than one bill may have been introduced on our behalf.

“We’ll keep you updated on each bill, either in the Voice, on our website or the 24-Hour Hotline,” Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel reminds us. “And, remember you can always call us here in the office or at home.” Ed Note: A more complete explanation of each legislative initiative is contained in the March Voice.

2015 Legislative Process Underway

Hearings Held on Retiree Proposals

July 2015 Voice: After a slow start to the beginning of the 2015-16 Legislative Session, the public hearings before the Joint Committee on Public Service are now in full swing.

Several factors have contributed to this year’s slower start. During the last election cycle the House of Representatives witnessed the largest turnover in membership in decades. Several high-ranking members either retired or were elected to higher office, such as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh – a former State Rep. from Dorchester.

Fossil-fuel divestiture hearing: Retirees’ interests vs. environmental concerns

John Hilliard
State House News Service
June 9, 2015

During a packed hearing late Tuesday morning, supporters of bills that would divest public pensions from fossil fuel energy industry over concerns that relying on profits from those companies helps contribute to climate change.

Early retirement plan drawing fewer applicants than predicted

Governor Charlie Baker’s early retirement plan is on pace to draw fewer applicants than his administration predicted, a gap that could prompt state government layoffs later this year.

FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT TAKES CENTER STAGE

FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT TAKES CENTER STAGE

Mass Retirees Supports Formal Study, Urges Caution

JUNE 10, 2015: On Tuesday, the complex issue of public pension fund divestment of fossil fuel investments took center stage at the Massachusetts State House. 

Deep Concerns Over GIC Insurance Costs

Association Initiative Would Lower Expense Cap

MAY 2015 VOICE: After five-years of low cost growth and medical inflation, retiree costs with the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) are set to jump come July 1, 2015. The sharp increase in what some retirees will be forced to pay for healthcare has resulted in an Association legislative proposal seeking to lower the cap on out-of-pocket costs.

Governor Baker Supports FY15 COLA

Also Maintains State Retiree Insurance % In Budget Proposal

MAY 2015 VOICE: In his first budget proposal, Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a full 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees to be paid beginning in July on the existing $13,000 base.

Baker is the first Republican governor since Jane Swift to support retiree COLAs. Former Governor Mitt Romney failed to provide for a retiree COLA in each of his four annual budget proposals.

State clears way for 5,000 workers to retire early

Some fear move may hurt services

By Joshua Miller Globe Staff  May 05, 2015

Governor Charlie Baker signed an early retirement plan Monday that will soon reduce the state workforce by up to 5,000 employees — a move that is expected to save money but quickly raised worries about an erosion of state services.

Though state lawmakers had expressed some initial skepticism, the House and Senate gave final approval to the proposal hours before the governor signed it. The votes were a victory for Baker and his effort to bridge a daunting state budget shortfall.

Gov. Charlie Baker signs state employee retirement incentive program into law

By Shira Schoenberg
May 04, 2015 at 5:15 PM

BOSTON - Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law establishing a retirement incentive for state employees, on the same day the Legislature sent the bill to his desk.

"We're very happy with the Legislature's compromise on this, and we're thrilled that they acted expeditiously to get this done," Baker told reporters at the Statehouse. "I appreciate the fact that it was a complicated piece of legislation to begin with, and we're looking forward to moving forward on the act of actually implementing it."

Early Retirement Bill Now Law

Up To 5,000 State Workers May Retire By June 30th

MAY 4, 2015: Late today Governor Charlie Baker signed the much anticipated state early retirement incentive plan (ERIP) into law. Limited in scope, the bill only applies to a target set of state workers. Municipal employees, teachers, public safety and higher education, among others, are not eligible for the ERIP.

Governor Baker filed legislation calling for a limited ERIP in order to reduce the state's workforce in the face of a reported $1.8 billion state deficit.