Veto of some retroactive payments is overridden
Over the weekend of July 29-30, Gov. Romney signed the Deficiency Budget (H5210). As part of that process, he vetoed several sections which provided retroactive payments for contracts for UMass faculty and staff and state college APA units. These retro payments have been paid out by the Legislature over the last several years in three separate installments. This year's was the final retro payment owed.
Romney vetoed two line-items that provided funding for retroactive payments for all who are owed this money. Additionally, he rejected the outside section (Section 15) which provided retirees with access to these retroactive payments. Had Romney made an "outright veto" of section 15, the legislature could have overridden his veto on July 31, the last day of this legislative session. Unfortunately, Romney sent Section 15 back with an amendment, so that a simple override by the Legislature would not suffice to undo Romney's action.
In order to override Romney's actions on retirees, multiple legislative actions will be required. The amendment is essentially treated as a newly-filed bill that has to go through multiple steps before making it back to the governor's desk.
The first six steps involve the legislature rejecting Romney's amendment and then placing that rejection back on his desk as a separate bill.
MTA and the labor coalition worked together to push the process along as fast as possible, but unfortunately, ran out of time before the session ended at midnight on July 31.
MTA and the labor coalition will work in the coming weeks to get the Legislature to take final action on this provision. This can be done in an informal session. After enactment, the provision (now called H5245) will return to the governor's desk.