The Joint Committee on Public Service will hold a hearing on Tuesday, October 31st at 10 a.m. at the State House and virtually. Three bills filed by the Mass Retirees for this session will be heard during the hearing. Association President Frank Valeri and Legislative Chair Tom Bonarrigo are scheduled to testify before the committee in favor of the legislation. These are the last three bills that the Association has before Public Service.
The bills being heard on Tuesday are HB2494 & SB1662 filed by Representative Mike Day and Senator Paul Feeney. The legislation makes any increases to premium splits by a municipality to retirees of that municipality prospective, there by protecting an already retired employee at the time from incurring the higher percent. The third bill is SB1752 filed by Senator John Velis which seeks to extend the definition of veteran that was expanded in 2004. The definition included those who served during non-wartime periods as well as the National Guard in limited cases. However, the definition was only applied to those who retired after 8/26/04. The legislation seeks to extend the definition to those who qualify and retired before 8/26/04. Members can watch the hearing online here.
Once the hearing process for the Public Service Committee is complete, we are anticipating the Chairs will move forward with Executive Sessions. During this process the Committee makes recommendations on next steps for these three bills as well as our other fifteen that were previously heard.
The Public Service hearing on the 31st will conclude the public hearing process for most of the bills in our legislative package. There is one remaining piece of legislation awaiting a hearing, however that bill is before the Joint Committee on Financial Services. The bill seeks to push out the date of notification from December 1 until March 1 that a municipality would have to notify the GIC of exit for the next plan year. Financial Services continues to schedule hearings weekly, and we anticipate the bill being heard in the next few weeks. While hearings are sometimes scheduled at the last minute, we will do our best to notify members as to when the bill will be heard.