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Summary

The measure, by amendments of General Laws(Ter.Ed.)c.6, provides for an old age pension commission of three persons, one to be a qualified physician, another to be an attorney at law and a third to be a non-professional person, who are to be appointed and may be removed for cause by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Council, and are to serve under the Governor and Council. Not more than two members of said Commission shall be members of the same political party. Original members shall be for one, two and three years respectively, and thereafter appointments are to be for three years. Such members are to devote their whole time to the work of the Commission during business hours and be engaged in no other business, occupation or profession. One of their number is to be designated as chairman by the Governor and shall receive a salary of $6,000, and each other member $5,500 per year, with necessary expenses. The commission is empowered to make and enforce rules and regulations as it may deem necessary in the performance of its duties and as may be approved by the Governor and Council.

The measure strikes out chapter 1118A of the General Laws(Ter. Ed.), and inserts in its place a new chapter titles "Adequate pensions for certain aged citizens."

It is provided that pensions hereunder shall be paid from date of application therefor, but in no means before the applicant reaches the age of sixty-five. The Commission shall render a decision in not less than thirty days from the date of application for a pension or a request for an increase of the amount thereof. Such pension shall, wherever practicable, be paid to the aged person in his own home or in lodgings or in a boarding house, which for the purposes hereof shall include and institution proving shelter, care and treatment for aged persons which is not support in whole or in part by public funds; provided, that no inmate of such a boarding home or institution shall be eligible for a pension under this chapter while being cared for under a contract. Such pensions shall be paid by check or in cash which shall be delivered to the pensioner at this residence, if he so requests, and shall be paid semi-monthly unless pensioner prefers less frequent payments. Such pension shall be on the basis of need and the amount thereof shall be determined in accordance with budgetary standards established by the Commission, Budgetary standards shall be such as to enable and individual pensioner to maintain a standard of living compatible with decency and health. Such pensions, except as hereinafter provided, shall be a the rate of not less than $48.00 monthly. The pensioner's budget at such times as may be required shall include medical care, if recommended by a recognized physician, eye-glasses, if recommended by a recognized optician, dental care and false teeth, if recommended by a recognized dentist.

To computing the pensioner's payment under this chapter, the Commission shall deduct from the pensioner's budget or the minimum payment, which ever is greater, the amount of income the person paid or to be paid a pension hereunder may be receiving from any source, and may deduct therefrom such reasonable amount as may be deemed to represent the financial value of board, lodging or other assistance which is being furnished to such persons from any source.

Upon the death of a person drawing a pension, whose funeral cost does not exceed the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars and in whose estate there are insufficient assets to cover the full cost of the funeral, the Commission shall pay to the funeral director the difference between assets and the cost of the funeral, a sum not exceeding one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

Expenses for medical, hospital and other services rendered to a pensioner, which remain unpaid at the time of his death or commitment to an institution as an insane person, shall be paid directly to the person rendering such services.

No pension under this chapter shall be discontinued nor shall the amount thereof be decreased until the expiration of fifteen days after notice has been give by the Commission to the pensioner.

Provision is made by which a person receiving a pension may be absent from the Commonwealth on a visit without having such pension suspended.

It is provided that General Laws(Ter.Ed.),c.273920, which relates to the support of parents by children shall not apply when parents are eligible to receive a pension.

Provision is made that there shall be set up in this Commission a subdivision of appeals under the jurisdiction of a supervisor of appeals. Any person aggrieved by the failure of the Commission to pay an adequate pension under this chapter, or by the failure of the Commission to approve or reject an application for pension or a request for an increase in the amount thereof, within thirty days after receiving such application or request, shall have a right to a fair hearing, after due notice, upon appeal to the subdivision of appeals in the form and manner prescribed by the commission; provided that such appeal is received by the subdivision of appeals within sixty days after official notices of the action take by the Old Age Pension Commission has been received by the applicant or pensioner. The decision of the subdivision of appeals shall be final and binding upon the Commission.

The Commission or any interested person aggrieved by any decision in any proceeding before the subdivision of appeals may obtain judicial review of such decision by filing, within twenty days of the mailing of such a decision, a petition for review thereof in the district court within the judicial district wherein the pensioner or the applicant for a pension lives.

In any proceeding for review the findings of the subdivision of appeals as to facts shall be conclusive, such proceedings shall be heard in a summary manner and given precedence over all other civil cases. From the decision of a district court upon review an appeal may be taken to the Supreme Judicial Court.

The possession by an applicant for pension under this chapter of assets consisting of cash, active securities or inactive securities, or any combination of such assets, shall not disqualify him from receiving such pension; provided, that the total of such assets, figuring the present cash value of such inactive securities at the sum determined by the Old Age Pension Commission, does not exceed the sum of $300.

A person is not to be disqualified from receiving a pension because of the ownership of an equity in vacant land from which there is insufficient income, to provide for his budgetary needs, or minimum payment or the ownership of an equity in real estate by an applicant who resides thereon or who, in the opinion of the Commission is residing elsewhere because of physical or mental incapacity, provided that if such equity on the basis of assessed valuation exceeds an average of $3000 during the five years immediately preceding application for the pension, the applicant shall execute a bond in the penal sum for the amount of the equity in excess of $3000 conditioned on the repayment to the Commonwealth of all amounts paid as such pension without interest, such bond to be secured by a mortgage without a fee and the apportionment of the proceeds realized from any of them between the Federal government and the Commonwealth.

A person is not to be disqualified from receiving a pension by reason of the ownership of a policy of group insurance or of a policy of insurance in an amount not exceeding $1000 or of a policy of insurance in an amount not exceeding $3000, having a cash surrender value not in excess of $1000 if such policy has been in effect not less than fifteen years.

No pension shall be granted to applicant who at any time within five years immediately prior to the filing of an application for such pension has made an assignment or transfer of property so as to render himself eligible to such pension. No pension shall be subject to trustee process or assignment, and no applicant for a pension, who knowingly makes any false statement or perpetrates any fraud or deception in relation to his application, shall be granted any pension nor be eligible for one during one year thereafter. A person, his executor or administrator shall be liable in contract to the Commonwealth for expense incurred by it for a pension paid to such person under this chapter if such person or his estate is in possession of funds not otherwise exempted thereunder.

If an application for a pension under this chapter is affected by the eligibility of the applicant to receive aid under General Laws(Ter.ED.)c.115, which relates to State and Military Aid and Soldiers Relief, the applicant shall be entitled to exercise such options and execute such waivers as may be necessary to receive the pension which he seeks.

All cities and towns in the Commonwealth shall furnish suitable headquarter for the carrying out of the duties of the commission in such cities and towns.

The measure further provides that there shall be established and set up on the books of the Commonwealth a separate fund, to be known as the Old Age Pension Fund, consisting of receipts credited to said fund under General Laws (Ter.Ed.)c.64B, G.L.(Ter.Ed.)c.128A.15, as amended, G.L.(Ter.ED)c.130, #27, as amended, and all proceeds of taxes assessed under Acts of 1941,c.729 #9 and 9A.

The Old Age Assistance Fund as in force immediately prior to the effective date of this act is hereby continued in existence, but shall hereafter be entitled "The Old Age Pension Fund."

It is provided that all civil service employees in the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth, including the supervisor, referees and employees of the subdivision of appeals in said department or of any city or town, employed in the administration of the Old Age Assistance Law on the effective date of this proposed measure, shall be transferred to the service of the Old Age Pension Commission, retaining their present civil service seniority retirement rights and any step increases from the minimum pay of their grade earned during their service with said departments or said bureaus.

It is provided that all records and property used in the administration of the Old Age Assistance Law and which are the property of the Commonwealth are to be transferred to the Old Age Commission.

The act shall take effect on March first, nineteen hundred forty-seven,

1946 Nov 5 :: State of Massachusetts :: Question 1 :: Initiative PetitionShall this measure, which by amendments of the General Laws provides for payment by the Commonwealth of adequate pensions to deserving citizens sixty-five years of age or over in need of relief or support, who shall have resided in the Commonwealth not less than five years immediately preceding the date of application for such pension, and who shall have resided in the Commonwealth continuously for one year immediately preceding said date of application, which is further described as follows:- [see summary of question]- which proposed law was approved in the House of Representatives by a vote of 126 in the affirmative and 79 in the negative, and on which the Senate did not vote, BE APPROVED?

View as: # | %  
Ward
Yes
No
Blank Votes Total Votes Cast Total Ballots Cast
Totals
 
11,072
12,918
11,996
23,988
35,984
Precinct 1
 
269
288
257
557
814
Precinct 2
 
248
249
311
497
808
Precinct 3
 
228
215
275
443
718
Precinct 4
 
341
307
334
648
982
Precinct 5
 
334
266
366
600
966
Precinct 1
 
196
156
343
352
695
Precinct 2
 
206
337
273
543
816
Precinct 3
 
161
252
219
413
632
Precinct 4
 
241
366
358
607
965
Precinct 5
 
351
215
342
566
908
Precinct 6
 
211
213
221
424
645
Precinct 1
 
278
411
342
689
1,031
Precinct 2
 
269
434
296
703
999
Precinct 3
 
310
411
307
721
1,028
Precinct 4
 
352
304
327
656
983
Precinct 5
 
274
363
282
637
919
Precinct 1
 
321
538
350
859
1,209
Precinct 2
 
267
178
379
445
824
Precinct 3
 
298
546
244
844
1,088
Precinct 4
 
304
552
332
856
1,188
Precinct 5
 
374
297
397
671
1,068
Precinct 6
 
261
203
258
464
722
Precinct 1
 
212
438
237
650
887
Precinct 2
 
289
246
329
535
864
Precinct 3
 
318
259
289
577
866
Precinct 4
 
354
303
300
657
957
Precinct 5
 
243
249
343
492
835
Precinct 6
 
322
277
315
599
914
Precinct 1
 
322
425
316
747
1,063
Precinct 2
 
385
396
375
781
1,156
Precinct 3
 
262
369
278
631
909
Precinct 4
 
274
448
313
722
1,035
Precinct 5
 
305
403
280
708
988
Precinct 1
 
331
435
378
766
1,144
Precinct 2
 
346
345
361
691
1,052
Precinct 3
 
343
473
347
816
1,163
Precinct 4
 
348
344
368
692
1,060
Precinct 5
 
322
407
354
729
1,083
Totals
 
11,072
12,918
11,996
23,988
35,984