Posted Jul 7, 2014
Four ballot questions will be on the statewide ballot Nov. 4. The Massachusetts League has positions on three of them.
Here are the questions, in the order they will appear on the ballot, and our positions.
Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing. This proposed law 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. LWVMA opposes this question and 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 most non-carbonated beverages. It would also increase the handling fee and make other changes to the existing law. LWVMA supports this question and urges a YES vote. We believe an expansion of the Bottle Bill will greatly increase the rates of recycling and reduce litter.
Question 3: Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming. This question would prohibit casinos, any gaming establishment with slot machines, and wagering on simulcast greyhound races, even if licenses have already been granted. LWVMA supports this question and urges a YES vote. We have long opposed casinos and other gambling in Massachusetts, arguing the costs in services needed 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 no state or national positions that would enable LWVMA take a stand on this question and so we neither support nor oppose this question.
Detailed information on each of the ballot questions is available on the Secretary of State’s website.