Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

FALL EYED FOR HEALTH REFORM HEARING

Public Service Weighing Association Proposals

JULY 26, 2013: September looks to be when the legislature will begin to actively consider H59, Governor Deval Patrick’s much anticipated Retiree Healthcare Reform proposal. As employees and retirees are well aware, the bill has been awaiting action before the Joint Committee on Public Service since filed by the governor in February.

ASSOCIATION BILLS ON PUBLIC SERVICE DOCKET

Next Hearing To Focus on Healthcare Proposals

JULY 19, 2013: With one remaining public hearing scheduled to take place prior to the legislature breaking for its summer recess, the Joint Committee on Public Service is set to review a host of Association proposals centering on retiree healthcare.

Slated to receive a public hearing on Tuesday, July 23, are four Association-backed bills that address improvements in healthcare benefits for retirees and survivors. They include:

COMMITTEE FOCUSES ON KEY ASSOCIATION INITIATIVES

COLA, Option C & Life Insurance Get Early Hearing

JULY 2013 VOICE: The Joint Committee on Public Service kicked-off its 2013 schedule with a public hearing that focused on thirty-seven bills earmarked for early action. Each are bills that received a favorable report from the Committee during the last legislative session or are issues deemed of pressing nature by the House and Senate Leadership.

LEGISLATURE APPROVES 3% STATE/TEACHER COLA

Systems On Track For July Payment

JULY 1, 2013: The House and Senate approved a full 3% COLA on a $13,000 base for state and teacher retirees effective this July. Eligible retirees and survivors should receive the first payment in the July pension check, which is issued at the end of the month.

BILL WOULD ALLOW FREE REIGN ON DENTAL PRICING

Association Opposes ‘Anti-Consumer’ Proposal

JUNE 13, 2013: A bill that would allow dentists to negate contractual agreements with insurance companies that offer discounted pricing on dental care is now pending before the Joint Committee on Financial Services. The proposal, if passed into law, would allow dentists free reign to set prices on dental services at any level they choose, once a patient exhausts their annual dental insurance benefit.

SENATE BUDGET INCLUDES 3% STATE & TEACHERS’ COLA

GIC Contribution Percent Intact For State Retirees

May 24, 2013: There are no unwelcome surprises for retirees and survivors in the Senate version of the FY’14 State Budget, approved Thursday night. In fact, the $34 Billion package includes some good news for retired state employees and teachers.

Governor Files Retiree Healthcare Reform

Mirrors Special Commission Report

MAY 2013 VOICE: True to his word, Governor Deval Patrick has filed a bill (H59) to reform retiree healthcare benefits that mirrors the recommendations made by the Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare. See March Voice for Commission details, including retiree/survivor protectons.

HOUSE APPROVES 3% STATE/TEACHER COLA

37 Local Systems Adopt July Increase

APRIL 25, 2013: This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the $34 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins July 1. Contained within the budget is a full 3% COLA for eligible state and teacher retirees, which will be applied to a $13,000 base.

RETIREE HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL ON HOLD

Legislative Focus On Taxes & Transportation

APRIL 4, 2013: While concern over potential sweeping changes in retiree healthcare benefits grows amongst active employees, legislative action on Governor Patrick’s H59 now appears to be on a slow track.

DISABILITY REFORM COMMISSION CONSIDERING OPTIONS

Association Pushes For Improvements

MARCH 29, 2013: The Special Commission on Disability Retirement has entered the final phase of its work. This past week, Commission members began to outline potential changes and reforms that might be recommended within the Commission’s report.

After nearly eight months of study and deliberation, the Commission has found no evidence of widespread inefficiency or scandal that would warrant a major reform of the disability law for public employees and retirees.