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Massachusetts 2014 ballot measures

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Four statewide ballot measures were on the November 4, 2014, ballot in the state of Massachusetts. Two of them were approved - thereby limiting gas taxes and expanding employee access to sick time - while the other two were defeated, thereby leaving intact the state's beverage container recycling law and a law allowing resort casinos to operate in the state.

The 2014 legislative session began on January 14, 2014, and is projected to end on January 6, 2015. No legislatively-referred constitutional amendments were referred to the 2014 ballot.

A total of 33 initiatives were filed for signature circulation. However, many of these were repeat filings of nearly identical initiatives. Initiative sponsors sometimes file multiple versions of the same measure in order to increase the likelihood of it landing on the ballot. Of these 33, a total of 16 unique measures were filed; however, nine failed to meet the requirements necessary to move forward with the initiative process.

Five of the citizen initiatives remained in the running for a time, but, ultimately, only four were certified for the November ballot. Massachusetts has a complicated system of circulating and confirming initiatives for the ballot. Supporters of the measures first had to submit their initiative, signed by ten voters, to the Massachusetts Attorney General by August 7, 2013. The attorney general then had to determine whether the measure met the legal requirements for circulation.[1]

In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters were required to collect a minimum of 68,911 valid signatures by November 20, 2013, and submit them to local registrars for certification. Certified petitions were then successfully filed with the secretary of state on the December 4, 2013, deadline, after which the secretary of state determined whether enough valid signatures had been collected.[2] The Massachusetts General Court had until May 7, 2014, to either accept or reject the measure or take no action. No action was taken on any of the measures; therefore, the original supporters had to collect an additional 11,485 signatures and submit them to local registrars for certification by June 18, 2014. These signatures then had to be filed with the secretary of state no later than July 2, 2014.[1][3][4]

Historical facts

  • Between 1990 and 2013, an average of four measures appeared annually on the ballot in Massachusetts. Therefore, 2014 was an average year.
  • From 1990 to 2014, the number of measures on statewide ballots ranged from one to eight.
  • Between 1990 and 2014, 27 of 50, or 54 percent, of Massachusetts ballot measures were approved by voters.
  • Conversely, 23 of 50, or 46 percent, of measures were defeated.

On the ballot

November 4:

Type Title Subject Description Result
CISS Question 1 Gas taxes Repeals 2013 law that automatically increases gas taxes according to inflation Approveda
CISS Question 2 Environment Expands the state’s beverage container recycling law to include all non-alcoholic containers Defeatedd
CISS Question 3 Gambling Repeals a 2011 law allowing resort casinos Defeatedd
CISS Question 4 Labor Entitles certain employees to earn and utilize paid sick days Approveda

Not on the ballot

See also: Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot

The following measures did not appear on the 2014 ballot. Two measures, one on corporate personhood and one regarding GMOs, were not certified by the Office of the Attorney General and thus were ineligible to appear on the ballot. Seven others failed to file signatures with the Secretary of State by the necessary date. Supporters withdrew one measure after turning in signatures because the legislature acted favorably on their issue and raised the minimum wage. The remaining two failed to collect enough valid signatures.

Type Title Subject Description Result
CICA Corporations are not People Initiative Business Adds to the constitution provisions regarding corporate involvement in politics Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CICA Constitutional Guarantee of Health Care Initiative Health Care Adds constitutional provision ensuring that all residents have access to “comprehensive, affordable and equitably financed” health care Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Decrease State Sales Tax Initiative Taxes Decreases the state sales tax rate from 6.25% to 5% Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods Initiative Business Requires labeling for genetically modified foods Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS New Hire Incentive Initiative Taxes Provides corporate taxpayers with a tax credit for each newly hired employee Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Prohibit Deployment of State National Guard Initiative War & Peace Prohibits the governor from deploying the state national guard outside state borders Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Whale and Sea Turtle Protection Initiative Environment Prohibits Division of Marine Fisheries from authorizing commercial use of fishing gear known to harm whales and sea turtles Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Repeal of Sales Tax on Computer Technology Initiative Taxes Eliminates sales and use taxes on computer system design services Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Permanent Daylight Saving Time Initiative Time Makes daylight savings time the year-round standard time in the state Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Minimum Wage Increase Initiative Minimum wage Increases the minimum wage from $8 to $10.50 over two years Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Nurses to Patients Ratio Initiative Healthcare Limits how many patients can be assigned to a registered nurse in hospitals and certain other facilities Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
CISS Regulation of Hospital Operating Margins and CEO Compensation Initiative Business Regulates the annual operating margins, CEO compensation and financial asset disclosures of certain healthcare facilities that accept state funds Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot

See also


External links