There will be four questions on the statewide ballot Nov. 8. LWVMA is taking a stand on only one of them, opposing the additional slot parlor. The League does not have positions on the issues in the other three ballot questions, on charter school expansion, farm animal containment practices and legalization of marijuana.
Our decisions on these questions are based on policy positions taken after study of issues at the state and national levels and consensus by League members.
Here are the questions, in the order they will appear on the ballot, and the League’s stand on each.
Question 1: Expanded Gaming Initiative:
This proposed law would allow the state Gaming Commission to issue one additional category 2 license, which would permit operation of a gaming establishment with no table games and not more than 1,250 slot machines. The League has a position in opposition to legalized casino gambling and urges a NO vote on this question.
Question 2: Increase Access to Public Charter Schools
This proposed law would allow the state to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year. Approvals under this law could expand statewide charter school enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year. New charters and enrollment expansions would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them, and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them. The League does not have a position on charter schools and therefore does not take a stand on this question.
Question 3: Farm Animal Containment
This proposed law would prohibit any farm from confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely. The proposed law would prohibit the sale in Massachusetts of whole eggs or uncooked veal or pork if the hen, pig, or calf was confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law. The LWVUS agriculture position does not apply to this question. LWVMA does not take a stand on this question.
Question 4: Marijuana Legalization
The proposed law would permit the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons age 21 and older and would remove criminal penalties for such activities. It would provide for the regulation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories, and marijuana products and for the taxation of proceeds from sales of these items. The League does not have a position on legalization of marijuana and therefore does not take a stand on this question.