Guide to 2018 Ballot Initiatives

The Attorney General has certified initiative petitions for questions to appear on the November 2018 ballot.  The petitioners will now gather signatures to further their petitions.  The LWVMA board has reviewed the petitions and noted which ones the League has positions on.  While the League will not publicly take a stand on any of the questions until next summer when the final list of questions is set, this list will let local Leagues know which questions local Leagues can work for as a League.  League members are, of course, free to work on any ballot question as individuals.  Links in the list are to the petition text.

Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions supported by League positions

Local Leagues may collect signatures for these questions as a League.

17-02 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Fee Disclosure for Radiology and Other Imaging Procedures

17-04 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Fee Disclosure for Radiology and Other Imaging Procedures

These petitions would require medical providers to affirmatively inform patients of the costs of all radiology and imaging procedures priced over $100, including fees for use of equipment, room, supplies, personnel, and other ancillary costs.

17-03 An Initiative Petition Establishing a Citizens Commission Concerning a Constitutional Amendment to Secure Government of the People

This proposed law would create a citizens commission to consider and recommend potential amendments to the United States Constitution to establish that corporations do not have the same Constitutional rights as human beings and that campaign contributions and expenditures may be regulated.

17-07 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Patient Safety and Hospital Transparency – Version A

This proposed law would limit how many patients could be assigned to each registered nurse in Massachusetts hospitals and certain other health care facilities.

17-10 An Initiative Petition for a Law Restoring Financial Transparency in Presidential Elections

This proposed law would require candidates for President and Vice President of the United States to submit to the Secretary of the Commonwealth complete copies of the candidate’s individual federal income tax returns filed in the prior six years.  It would also require the candidate to submit a written statement attesting to the tax returns’ completeness and consenting to required public disclosure of the tax returns.

17-13 An Initiative Petition Relative to Political Spending by Non-residents of Massachusetts

17-14 An Initiative Petition Relative to Political Spending by Non-residents of Massachusetts

This proposed law would impose limits on how much state, county, or local political candidates or ballot question committees could accept in monetary contributions from political action committees organized outside Massachusetts or from individuals residing outside Massachusetts.  The 17-13 version includes limits on ballot question contributions.

17-17 An Initiative Petition for a Law Raising the Minimum Wage

This proposed law would raise the state’s minimum wage, which was $11 per hour as of January 1, 2017, to $12 in 2019; $13 in 2020; $14 in 2021; and $15 in 2022.

17-18 An Initiative Petition for a Law Establishing a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

This proposed law would create a program to provide paid family and medical leave to Massachusetts workers.

17-24 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to an Equitable Increase in Renewable Energy

17-25 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to an Equitable Increase in Solar Energy

17-26 An Initiative Petition for a Law Increasing Clean Energy Production in the Commonwealth – Version A

17-27 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to an Equitable Increase in Solar Energy – Version B

These proposed laws would create and amend programs to govern and promote the use of electricity generated from renewable energy resources.

Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions opposed by League positions

Local Leagues may not collect signatures for these questions as a League.

17-01 An Initiative Petition for a Constitutional Amendment

This petition would amend the state Constitution to include the wording:  “Nothing in this Constitution requires the public funding of abortion.”  The amendment would permit the state to exclude abortion services from state-funded health care.

17-19 An Initiative Petition for A Law Reducing the Burden of Sales and Use Taxes And Requiring a Sales Tax Free Weekend – Version A

17-20 An Initiative Petition for A Law Reducing the Burden of Sales and Use Taxes – Version A

17-21 An Initiative Petition for a Law Reducing the Burden of Sales and Use Taxes and Requiring a Sales Tax Free Weekend – Version B

17-22 An Initiative Petition for a Law Reducing the Burden of Sales and Use Taxes– Version B

These four petitions present options for reducing the sales tax from the current 6.25% to either 4.5% or 5% and, for two of them, to require the legislature to declare a sales tax free weekend every year.

Initiative Petitions for Ballot Questions not covered by any League positions

Since the League does not have positions covering these subjects, local Leagues may not collect signatures as a League; members are free to collect signatures as individuals but not representing the League.

17-05 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to the Reduction in the Use of Euthanasia in Homeless Animals

17-06 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to the Use of So-Called “Aversive Therapy”

17-16 An Initiative Petition for a Whale Safe Fishing Act

For questions about the ballot initiative petitions, please contact Nancy Brumback or Karen Price.