Proponents behind the initiative that would limit clean energy development in Massachusetts have no option now but to push for its inclusion on the November ballot, after the State Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy decided May 7 not to make the initiative’s language law.
A group of Massachusetts mayors, fed up with what they say is legislative inaction on skyrocketing municipal health care costs, has launched a ballot initiative for 2012 aimed at giving cities and towns more flexibility in reducing expensive benefits for employees, retirees, and elected officials. Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston hosted a strategy session of about 20 mayors in City Hall Friday. The group emerged with a proposal to allow communities to reduce benefits without union negotiations.
Former state education board chairman James Peyser, leading an effort to lift the statewide cap on charter school enrollment and spending, said Tuesday he believes his supporters have gathered enough signatures to put such a measure on the 2010 ballot. Peyser said the group submitted about 100,000 raw signatures to city and town clerks, and he expects more than 70,000 will ultimately be certified, well above the 66,593 minimum required.
Massachusetts voters won’t be able to decide a proposed ballot question to eliminate highway, bridge and tunnel tolls but could still weigh in on other questions, from rolling back the state income tax to tightening regulations on wood-burning power plants.
Activists pushing a slew of potential ballot questions are racing to file voter signatures with local city and town clerks. Wednesday is the deadline for activists to submit tens of thousands of signatures in support of their initiatives. Once those signatures are certified at the local level, activists have until Dec. 2 to deliver them to Sec. of State William Galvin’s office.
Voters in Revere, Mass., on Tuesday rejected a ballot initiative that would have overturned a policy allowing the high school’s health clinic to make contraception available, including condoms and emergency contraception, the Boston Globe reports. The initiative — defeated in a 3,404-2,695 vote — was put on the ballot in September by a group of Revere residents who objected to the contraception policy.
Opponents of the biomass plants proposed for Greenfield and Russell are gathering signatures for an initiative petition that could place a question on next November’s election ballot - effectively gutting the projects.
Efforts to put an advisory charter question before local voters is going to have to wait. State election officials have advised cities and towns that municipal advisory questions cannot be placed on the state ballot for the special U.S. Senate election in January, to fill the seat vacated with the death of Edward M. Kennedy.
Given the final word yesterday on a controversial town sewering project, a strong majority of Barnstable voters stayed silent. A citizen ballot initiative seeking to overturn the Barnstable Town Council’s decision to extend sewering around parts of Stewarts Creek failed to produce the 20 percent of voters necessary to validate the election.
Attorney General Martha Coakley gave the initial go ahead to 23 ballot initiatives today, including a push to eliminate tolls in the Bay State. Coakely reviewed 30 petitions to see if they passed constitutional muster, and now those hoping to get the questions on a ballot must collect nearly 66,600 signatures of registered voters. “After a complete and thorough review by our office, we have concluded that most of these initiative petitions have met the requirements posed in the state’s Constitution,” Coakley said in a statement.