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Pension fund chief’s salary raised to $360,000, gets 40% bonus

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STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS – AFTERNOON EDITION – TUESDAY, DEC. 2, 2014

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE PENSION FUND CHIEF’S SALARY RAISED TO $360,000

The board overseeing the $60.2 billion state pension fund on Tuesday voted 7-2 to boost the salary of its executive director by $65,000 to $360,000, as its incoming chair expressed discomfort with the move. Michael Trotsky, a Belmont resident who previously served as executive director of the Massachusetts Health Care Security Trust Fund and worked for Par Capital Management Inc., first took the job of executive director in 2010 and made $77,000 less than his predecessor, Michael Travaglini. His last base salary increase came in 2012, after the fund’s chief investment officer left for another job. Trotsky, who is also receiving an annual 40 percent performance-based bonus this year, took on the investment officer’s role in addition to his duties as executive director, and his salary increased by $50,000 to $295,000. – Gintautas Dumcius/SHNS

FEDS PLEDGE $1 BILLION FOR GREEN LINE EXTENSION

The Federal Transit Administration plans to provide nearly $1 billion towards the $2.3 billion Green Line Extension project, which will bring trolley service through Somerville to Medford. Acting FTA Administrator Therese McMillan wrote to a U.S. Senate committee on Monday, informing members that the federal government planned to provide $996 million in a New Starts grant. The remaining funding for the 4.7-mile project would include $996 million in state bonds and $305 million out of the state’s operating funds, according to the letter from McMillan. The rail extension has been many years in the making and is required as a stipulation of the Big Dig highway project in Boston. In a statement MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said the extension is “among the most important transit projects in the nation.” – Andy Metzger/SHNS

OLYMPICS OPPONENTS EAGER FOR DEBATE

Opponents of a Boston Olympics bid plan to engage in a debate next week hosted by The Boston Globe. “This is our first chance to go head-to-head with representatives of Boston2024 (who still haven’t held a public meeting of their own),” No Boston Olympics wrote in an email Tuesday. The debate is set for Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Boston2024 on Monday submitted to the US Olympics Committee its bid to host the 2024 summer games. Boston 2024 Executive Vice President Erin Murphy Rafferty said in a statement that the bid outlines the reasons why Boston would be “an ideal host for the Summer 2024 Games, including our world-class university partners; the region’s thriving innovation, technology, financial, medical and hospitality sectors; our widespread government, business, and community support; and a unique plan for a walkable, sustainable and cost-effective Olympics.? During a recent radio appearance, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who appears to have warmed to the idea of hosting the games, said the process for public input on a 2024 Olympics bid needs to be “a lot better.” Murphy Rafferty said Boston 2024 is “fully committed to an open and transparent process and are in the process of scheduling a series of public informational meetings.” John Fish, who has been leading the effort to host the games, was at the State House Tuesday and told the News Service he planned to meet with Jamaica Plain Democrat Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz. – Michael Norton/SHNS

RENEWED SMOKING CESSATION EFFORT PLANNED

With 1 of out of 10 women smoking during pregnancy in the United States, the March of Dimes plans to launch a smoking cessation campaign next year, and is looking for lawmakers’ support. Approximately 5 to 8 percent of all pre-term births are related to smoking, and 13 to 19 percent of low birth weight babies can be contributed to cigarette usage during pregnancy, according to Dr. Joseph Mitchell, a board member at the March of Dimes who spoke to newly-elected lawmakers Tuesday at the State House about the organization’s priorities. Smoking during pregnancy “continues to be an epidemic,” Mitchell told the handful of lawmakers who will be sworn-in on Jan. 7. “I find it incredible.” – Colleen Quinn/SHNS

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