A ballot question that would reduce the sales tax to 3 percent is expected to be approved by the state attorney general today. “Taxes in Massachusetts are a back-breaking burden on workers, businesses that provide jobs and our families,” said Carla Howell charwoman of the Alliance to Roll Back Taxes, the group sponsoring the initiative. “Our tax roll back is designed to relieve the tax burden shouldered by 3.4 million workers.”
Advocates hoping to place questions on next year’s ballot are coming up to their first major hurdle. Wednesday is the deadline for Attorney General Martha Coakley to decide whether each question is eligible for the ballot. Under the Massachusetts Constitution certain subjects are barred from initiative petitions, including those relating to religion, the courts, and certain provisions of the state Declaration of Rights.
Do you think it’s possible, in an age where so many of us get our information online, to harness the internet’s powers of communication as a tool for state-level direct democracy?
Pro-online poker Massachusetts activists have wasted no time in launching an initiative in order to gather the public support necessary for a legalisation proposal to be included on next year’s ballot. Associated Press reports that the Internet, paid help and networks of volunteers are all being mobilised to collect the tens of thousands of voter signatures needed to make the cut. By law, activists must gather signatures equal to 3 percent of the total of all votes cast for governor during the last state election.
The ballot question to finance a new library sparked outrage among some in town when it was put up for consecutive votes. Now, outspoken library opponents are seeking to change the law to prevent that from happening again. Precinct 6 Town Meeting member James P. Taylor is circulating a petition to put an article on the Town Meeting warrant that would prohibit any failed Proposition 2 1/2 override vote from appearing on another ballot for two years.
Charter school supporters file a ballot question Wednesday that would allow for an unlimited number of charter schools in Massachusetts. Special-interest groups face a 5 p.m. deadline to file initiatives with the attorney general for the November 2010 ballot. Gov. Deval Patrick proposes to double the number of charter schools in districts with the lowest MCAS scores. But supporters worry that plan will not get through the Legislature. They say if the governor’s proposal does pass, they may drop the initiative.
Supporters of a plan to end the Massachusetts’ main affordable housing law are trying again. Critics of the law filed a proposed ballot question with Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office on Tuesday.
Toll opponents are hoping to give Massachusetts voters a chance to have their say during next year’s election. The group Citizens Against Road Tolls filed two ballot questions with Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office Tuesday, both of which would require the state to eliminate tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Tobin Bridge and Boston Harbor tunnels by Jan. 1, 2012.
The states 6.25% sales tax could pack a whollop for package store profits. The alcohol tax that went into effect yesterday lifted a long-standing tax exemption on bay state booze. Governor Patrick said it had to be done to help the state balance the budget and it could bring in up to $80-million in revenue.
A citizens’ initiative to put the landfill expansion before the voters died on the City Council table Thursday, but it could come back to life as soon as Monday. The petition asks: “Shall the city of Northampton expand the Northampton landfill over the Barnes Aquifer?” The council tabled the matter at its last meeting after a group of citizens presented it during the public comment session. Councilors Michael A. Bardsley and Marianne L. LaBarge offered their own identically worded ballot question at that same meeting.