Four ballot questions will be on the statewide ballot Nov. 4. The League of Women Voters urges voters to vote NO on Question 1 and YES on Questions 2 and 3. 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 our positions.
Question 1: Eliminating gas tax indexing. This question would repeal a law passed in 2013 and eliminate the requirement that the state’s gasoline tax be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. The League urges a NO vote. We believe indexing the gasoline tax to the CPI provides funding needed to maintain and improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.
Question 2: Expanding the beverage container deposit law. This question would update the state’s current deposit law, the Bottle Bill, to include non-carbonated beverages and require that unclaimed deposits go to a fund dedicated to recycling and environmental efforts. The League urges a YES vote. We believe an expansion of the Bottle Bill will increase recycling, reduce litter, and save cities and towns money in cleanup costs.
Question 3: Expanding prohibitions on gaming. This question would prohibit casinos and gaming establishments with slot machines, even if licenses have already been granted. The League urges a YES vote. We have long opposed casinos in Massachusetts, arguing the costs in services and social impact outweigh projected gains in tax revenue and employment.
Question 4: Earned sick time for employees. This question would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions. The League has not studied this issue and has not taken a position on this question.
The full text of the questions and pro and con arguments are on the Secretary of State’s website, http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele14/pip14idx.htm, and in the red booklet each household will receive in the mail before the election.
Remember to vote on November 4, and don’t forget to make your voice heard on these four statewide ballot questions.