A court ruling that relieves Boston of its financial obligation to a police education incentive program is a credit positive, Moody’s Investors Service said.
On March 7, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the city, which Moody’s rates Aaa with a stable outlook, is not responsible for covering the entire cost of a police education incentive program to make up for reduced funding from the state.
Moody’s called the ruling a credit-positive because it relieves Boston of paying both $17 million in back payments to police officers who participate in the program and almost $11 million of additional payments annually.
The ruling, according to the rating agency, also gives the 254 Massachusetts municipalities that participate in the incentive program leverage for future negotiations with police bargaining groups, and even to refuse to make up for the state’s portion of the program.
The case concerns funding for the program, known as the “Quinn Bill,” which offers police officers 10% to 25% salary increases for earning college or advanced degrees in criminal justice or law.
Since the Quinn bill’s enactment in 1970, the state and participating cities have typically split the program’s cost.