MMA statement on the Senate’s municipal health insurance reform proposal

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For immediate release
For more information, contact Geoff Beckwith at (617) 426-7272

Earlier today, Senate President Therese Murray, Senate Ways and Means Chair Stephen Brewer, Ways and Means Vice Chairs Steven Baddour and Jennifer Flanagan, Public Service Committee Chair Katherine Clark, and the members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee introduced a strong and meaningful plan to address the skyrocketing costs of municipal employee health insurance.

The legislation proposed by the Senate president and the Senate Ways and Means Committee saves taxpayers money, preserves essential local services, protects municipal union jobs, guarantees equity with state employee health benefits, and still leaves municipal unions with more bargaining power than state unions. This is a balanced, meaningful, and fair reform that would allow cities and towns to save $100 million in avoided health insurance costs.

Communities are in fiscal crisis, and municipal health insurance reform offers meaningful relief that taxpayers deserve. Soaring health insurance costs are forcing cuts in essential municipal and school services and forcing the elimination of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other key employees from local budgets. Cities and towns will use reform to provide relief for local taxpayers, protect essential services, and preserve thousands of municipal jobs.

It is important to recognize the abiding leadership of House Speaker Robert DeLeo, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Brian Dempsey, and the 113 members of the House of Representatives who stood up for strong reform last month, and we look forward to working with all legislators and stakeholders to support a plan that delivers the relief and reform that every community needs.