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Senate approves version of early retirement bill

April 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill that would offer early retirement incentives to thousands of state employees.

The measure, which passed on a voice vote Wednesday after nearly two hours of debate, differs in several ways from Gov. Charlie Baker’s initial early retirement plan and a similar version passed by the House. The next step is likely to be a House-Senate conference committee to resolve the differences.

The Senate plan reflects concerns by members that a flood of retirees could cripple some state agencies. It caps at 4,500 the number of executive branch workers who could take early retirement and excludes positions that are considered “critical” to the functioning of an agency.

The plan is designed to save more than $170 million in salaries in the next fiscal year.

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