Politics

Articles about Politics that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Selectmen Again Seek To Abolish Stoneham Board

2007 MAY - Failed At Last Year’s Town Meeting - Stoneham’s Selectmen are a tenacious bunch. It seems they
intend to clutter Town Meeting with the same warrant article that was soundly
defeated last year.

AUTONOMY OF LOCAL RETIREMENT

2007 MAY - Legislation Would Force Investment In State Fund - Municipal
retirement boards were both shocked and dismayed when Governor Deval Patrick
filed legislation this February that would require many of our local boards to
turn their pension funds over to the CommonwealthUs PRIT Fund for investment.

NEW SENATE LEADERSHIP

2007 MAY - Murray Assumes Presidency - An unusual early session change of power has occurred in the
state Senate, resulting in the election of the first female legislative chief in
the history of Massachusetts.

Former Speaker Remembered For His Pension Legislation Leadership

2007 MAR - Although former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Thomas Finneran, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice this January and was pilloried by the news media as expected, it is only fair that our members be reminded of Finneran’s work on behalf of public sector retirees and survivors.

Paul Doane Appointed to Pension Oversight Agency

2007 MAR - Harwich Republican Is Former State Senator - One of outgoing Governor Mitt Romney’s appointments which we wholeheartedly agree, was the naming of Paul Doane to fill a seat on the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), the state’s key pension oversight agency. Doane’s term will run until October 29, 2010.

Ben Downing is New Sentate Chairman of Public Service Committee

2007 MAR - Senate President Robert Travaglini has named Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) to the post of Senate Chairman of the Public Service Committee, the key committee which acts on all pension legislation.

Patrick Makes Two Key Appointments

2007 MAR - Among the many appointments that our new governor, Deval Patrick, has made there are two that are of special importance to our Association.

NEW ASSOCIATION DESIGNEE ON FRAMINGHAM COALITION BARGAINING COMMITTEE

JAN 2007 - Over 13 years ago, Framingham became the second municipality to adopt the coalition bargaining law (Section 19), with Lexington being the first. “We’re pleased to report that coalition bargaining is operating smoothly in Framingham, and will continue to do so,” according to Associations Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman.

2007-2008 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

JAN 2007 - Strengthening Benefits For Public Retirees - Led by its chairman, Bill Hill, the Association’s Legislative Committee has filed the following 18 pieces of legislation for the 2007-2008 Session of the Massachusetts Legislature. As an integral part of the process, the Committee has obtained the commitment of several key legislators, from both the House and Senate, as sponsors of our bills.

“With this program, we’ve sought to address the major issues currently affecting public retirement,” according to Hill. “It’s a comprehensive approach, offering sensible solutions.”

You will find below a brief summary of the bills, each contained within the appropriate subject matter heading. The complete listing of bill numbers and sponsors will be included in the March edition of the Voice. Editor’s Note: Please be aware that this listing marks the very beginning of the legislative process for the bills outlined  below. There will be a public hearing on each bill during the upcoming months, after which time further action can be considered.

ROMNEY SHORTS RETIREES ON LIFE INSURANCE

JAN 2007 - Appointees Oppose Benefit Increase - In what can only be viewed as a backhanded dismissal of retirees, Governor Mitt Romney has allowed his hand-picked appointees to the state’s Group Insurance Commission, to vote down a plan that would have increased the basic life insurance for state retirees.