Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Municipal Insurance Amendment Before Senate

Extends Insurance Premium Moritorium Until July 2018

MAY 23, 2016: Members are asked for your help in protecting municipal retirees and retired teachers. Health insurance benefits for both groups are largely under the control of local governments, some of which are now threatening to increase insurance premium contribution percentages.

Federal Budget Deal Averts Medicare Disaster

Mass. Officials Play Central Role

JANUARY 2016 VOICE: A major budget deal between the White House and Congress has come to the aid of public retirees, who had been bracing for a major increase in Medicare Part B premiums for 2016.

Basic Life Insurance Bill Advances

Public Service Committee Grants Favorable Report

AUGUST 11, 2015: Legislation that would increase the basic life insurance benefit for state retirees and active employees has been released with a favorable report by the Joint Committee on Public Service.

Association officials worked closely with Committee Chairmen Rep. Jamie Murphy (D-Weymouth) and Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole) in recent months to advance the legislation forward prior to the start of the FY17 state budget cycle.

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.