Election 2016: Massachusetts Ballot Questions

By Joan Bowen

voteWhether you vote early (now, through November 4 – click here for dates and times) or at the polls on November 8, preparation will include more than identifying which candidates you select.  The ballot also includes four initiative petition ballot questions.

Here is a brief summary of each question as provided in the Massachusetts Information for Voters, issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Question 1: Expanded Slot-Machine Gaming

Summary: 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 proposed law would authorize the Commission to request applications for additional license to be granted to a gaming establishment located on property that is (i) at least four acres in size; (ii) adjacent to and within 1,500 feet of a race track, including the track’s additional facilities, such as the track, grounds, paddocks, barns, auditorium, amphitheatre, and bleachers; (iii) where horse racing meeting may physically be held; (iv) where a horse racing meeting shall have been hosted; and (v) not separated from the race track by a highway or railway.

For more details visit www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/IFV_2016.pdf

 What does your vote mean?

  • A YES vote would permit the state Gaming Commission to license one additional slot-machine gaming establishment at a location that meets certain conditions specified by law.
  • A NO vote would make no change in current laws regarding gaming.

Who’s in Favor, Who’s Opposed?

Question 2 – Charter School Expansion

Summary: This proposed law would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year.  Approvals under this law could expand statewide enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year.  New charters and enrollment expansions approved under this law 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.

For more information, click www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/IFV_2016.pdf

 What does your vote mean?

  • A YES vote would allow for up to 12 approvals each year of either new charter schools or expanded enrollments in existing charter schools, but not to exceed 1% of the statewide public school enrollment.
  • A NO vote would make no change in current laws relative to charter schools.

Who’s in Favor, Who’s Opposed?

Question 3 – Conditions for Farm Animals

Summary: The proposed law would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly 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 also prohibit any business owner or operator in Massachusetts from selling whole eggs intended for human consumption or any uncooked cut of veal or pork if the business owner or operator knows or should know that the hen, breeding pig, or veal calf that produced these products is confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law.  The law would exempt sales of food products that combine veal or pork with other products…

For more details click www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/IFV_2016.pdf

 What does your vote mean?

  • A YES vote would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves, and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely.
  • A NO vote would make no change in current laws relative to the keeping of farm animals.

Who’s in Favor, Who’s Opposed?

 

Question 4 – Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana

Summary: The proposed law would permit the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons 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.

For more details, click www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/IFV_2016.pdf

 What does your vote mean?

  • A YES vote would allow persons 21 and older to possess, use, and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products) and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts, and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products.
  • A NO vote would make no change in current laws relative to marijuana.

Who’s in Favor, Who’s Opposed?

Ballot Question Forum, in Lexington on November 2

Bedford’s State Senator Mike Barrett will facilitate a forum on the Ballot Questions presented by the Lexington/Bedford Association of American Women and the League of Women Voters in Lexington on November 2.

Click here to learn more about the Ballot Question Forum.

 


Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x