Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

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.

LEGISLATURE WEIGHS BUDGET & TAX PROPOSALS

Retiree Healthcare Reform Awaits Action

MARCH 19, 2013: For the first time in nearly a generation, government leaders are strongly weighing options that would increase state revenues – raise taxes – to pay for much needed infrastructure improvements and further investment in education.

With nearly laser-like attention being placed on the issue of taxes and the pending FY14 State Budget, legislative leaders have not begun to address the number one issue on the mind of public retirees and employees – H59, Retiree Healthcare Reform.

Retiree Healthcare Takes Center Stage

Commission Issues Final Report

MARCH 2013 VOICE: After more than ten months of meetings, research and intense negotiations, the Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare has completed its work. The result is a report containing a series of recommendations that will likely impact both state and local retiree healthcare benefits in the future.

2013-2014 Legislative Session Begins

Association Files 15 Bills

MARCH 2013 VOICE: With the start of the new Legislative Session, the Association is advocating for the passage of its 15-bill legislative package. The package aims to improve pension and health insurance benefits for retirees and survivors.

State law requires each bill to be sponsored and filed by a legislator. The Association’s legislative team has opted to seek out sponsors who have an understanding of public retirement and have a history of championing the issues important to our members.

GOVERNOR FILES HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL

H59 Includes Key Retiree Protections

FEBRUARY 16, 2013: This week, Governor Deval Patrick filed a legislative proposal that would significantly change healthcare benefits for future retirees, while grandfathering and protecting current retiree benefits from knee-jerk changes in contribution percentage rates.

NEW HOUSE PUBLIC SERVICE CHAIR NAMED

NEW HOUSE PUBLIC SERVICE CHAIR NAMED

Michlewitz Joins Brownsberger To Head Key Committee

FEBRUARY 8, 2013: State Representative Aaron Michlewitz has been appointed House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service for the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. The 3rd-term Democrat hails from Boston’s North End, where he was born and raised.

GOVERNOR PROPOSES 3% STATE & TEACHER COLA

Budget Also Includes Full GIC Funding

JANUARY 24, 2013: Governor Deval Patrick proposed a full 3% COLA increase for eligible state and teacher retirees within his FY 2014 budget proposal filed on Wednesday. In November 2011, the state increased the COLA base for state and teacher retirees to $13,000.

COLA's for municipal and county retirees are the responsibility of local retirement systems. At this time, a number of local systems have begun discussions to approve a 3% COLA for their retirees come July 1.

GOVERNOR TO FILE FY14 BUDGET WEDNESDAY

GOVERNOR TO FILE FY14 BUDGET WEDNESDAY

Retiree Healthcare Bill Not Included

JANUARY 22, 2013: When Governor Deval Patrick files his FY 14 Budget proposal on Wednesday, it is not expected to contain legislation to reform retiree healthcare. Observers now anticipate a stand-alone bill to be filed in late January or early February that mirrors the report filed by the Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare, issued in December.

HEALTHCARE COMMISSION ENDORSES MASSIVE $15-$20 BILLION REFORM

Retiree Protections Include Contribution Rate “Freeze”

DECEMBER 20, 2012: Following nine months of lengthy meetings, detailed analysis and intense negotiations the Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare completed its work today with an 11-1 vote to endorse a proposal that, if passed into law, will save Massachusetts taxpayers at least $15-$20 billion over the next thirty years.