Apr 24
Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 08:00 AM
Municipal leaders called on the Legislature to enact reforms to the way towns and cities pay for unemployment insurance, asking lawmakers to go further than the plan offered by Gov. Deval Patrick's administration to address the problem.
“It's important for us to broaden this bill and bring together some additional solutions beyond just this one that's being proposed,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who appeared on a panel with other municipal officials and Massachusetts Municipal Association executive director Geoffrey Beckwith. The Committee on Public Service heard testimony from municipal leaders and Patrick's top labor adviser during a public hearing on Patrick's proposal to block public sector retirees from collecting unemployment benefits while at the same time receiving a pension. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne Goldstein described the administration’s work on the issue for the panel, chaired by Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley) and Sen. William Brownsberger (D-Belmont). In addition to the governor's bill (H 3980), Goldstein said that a newly-formed task force dedicated to the issue held its first meeting Wednesday and will gather input from municipal and labor officials before offering additional recommendations. “I am pleased to report that all members of the task force take this very seriously and are committed to quick, effective resolution of the issues raised,” Goldstein said." Video of the Hearing