Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Leadership Agrees To Changes in Funding Schedule

Adopts Conservative Approach & Increased Funding

MARCH 2014 VOICE: Governor Deval Patrick and the state’s Legislative Leadership have agreed to significantly increase  the appropriation toward funding the Commonwealth’s unfunded pension liabilities, along with shortening the pension funding schedule by four years and adopting a more conservative set of assumptions.

Gov. Patrick Files Final Budget Proposal

Includes 3% COLA & Funding Schedule Changes

JANUARY 22, 2014: Within the final budget proposal of his eight-year tenure as governor, Deval Patrick chose to include two provisions of critical long term importance to public retirees and surviving spouses.

As he has consistently done in the past, the governor has recommended a full 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2013. Like 2013, the new COLA will be paid on a base of $13,000.

Growing Concern: Premium Freeze Expiring

JANUARY 2014 VOICE: An issue of great concern to the Association is the end of the legal moratorium on increasing retiree and survivor health insurance contribution rates.

Within the Municipal Insurance Reform law (Chapter 69, Acts of 2011), our Association was able to secure language that has prohibited many cities and towns from increasing contribution rates on retirees and survivors over the past three years. The moratorium applies to any community that fully implements the provisions of Chapter 69.

Huge Turnout For Healthcare Hearing

JANUARY 2014 VOICE: Active employees turned out in droves for a public hearing on retiree healthcare reform held at the State House on Halloween.

The marathon hearing, before the Joint Committee on Public Service, lasted more than 6 hours. More than five hundred people filled the meeting room, bearing witness to a host of government, retiree and labor officials who testified on the proposal known as H59.

Aggressive Start to 2014

Public Service Committee Meets

JANUARY 2, 2014: The Joint Committee on Public Service is off to an aggressive start early in 2014 with a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, January 7th at 11:00 AM.

Tuesday’s hearing will focus on legislation impacting group classification of active employees. As members know, Massachusetts’ public retirement is organized into four groups (1-4), which are set in statute by the legislature.

Association Prepares For Legislature's Round 2

JANUARY 2014 VOICE: As the state legislature begins Round 2 of its two-year session in January, the Association is poised to advance its legislative package.

All eighteen bills, filed by the Association in 2013, have now  had a public hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Service. Some have since been released favorably by the Committee and are now working their way through the process on Beacon Hill.

RETIREE HEALTHCARE REFORM REENTERS SPOTLIGHT

Public Hearing on H59 Thursday

OCTOBER 28, 2013: Arguably the biggest issue to come before the legislature during the current two-year session reenters center stage on Beacon Hill this week, when H59, the much watched Retiree Healthcare Reform proposal, receives a public hearing.

DISABILITY BILL HEARING TUESDAY

Healthcare Reform Set For Halloween

OCTOBER 18, 2013: On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Public Service will conduct a public hearing that includes legislation filed by the Association relative to disability retirement.

The bills, filed on our behalf by Representative Tacky Chan (D-Quincy), propose to improve the ordinary disability benefit for future retirees, as well as alter the oversight of disability retirees.

MACRS EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE DIVESTITURE OF FOSSIL FUEL IN PENSION FUNDS

MACRS EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE DIVESTITURE OF FOSSIL FUEL IN PENSION FUNDS

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013: Yesterday, the 18-member Executive Board of the Mass. Association of Contributory Retirement Systems (MACRS) unanimously voted to oppose legislation that would require the State’s Pension Fund Board (PRIM Board) to divest all holdings in the Fund, which include fossil fuel such as oil, gas and coal.

ASSOCIATION BILLS ADVANCE

H59 Retiree Insurance Reform Eyed For Fall

SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: The Joint Committee on Public Service has favorably released a key bill of particular importance to public retirees.

Under the direction of Co-Chairmen, Senator Will Brownsberger and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, the Committee unanimously advanced legislation aimed at correcting Option B & C pensions for pre-July 2004 retirees (H2354). Also, among the bills heard by Public Service, is our legislation which increases basic state life insurance benefits from $5,000 to $10,000 (H2288).