Since Massachusetts employs an indirect initiative process, the General Court has an opportunity to adopt proposed laws and amendments before they move to a popular vote. However, unlike other states, Massachusetts requires additional signatures following legislative inaction.
For an amendment or statute, signatures must equal 3% of votes cast for governor in the most recent election (excluding blanks). If the legislature declines to act on a proposed statute, supporters are required to collect a second round of signatures totaling 0.5% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election (excluding blanks). For proposed amendments, one-quarter of the legislature must approve the petition in a joint session -- a second round of signatures is not required.
For a veto referendum, signatures must equal 1.5% of the total votes cast for governor in the most recent election. No more than one-fourth of these certified signatures may come from any one county. If the petitioners request suspension of the law in writing, signatures are required totaling 2% of the total votes cast for governor in the last election.
|Year||Amendment or Statute||Statute add-on||Veto referendum||Veto referendum (suspension of law)|