• Initiative Petitions (Statewide)

    An initiative petition is a way for citizens to propose binding laws and constitutional amendments for approval by the voters on the biennial statewide election ballot.

    The first step in the process is for 10 voters to sign the petition containing the proposed law or constitutional amendment and to file it with the Attorney General's Office. For more information, visit the AG's Initiative Petition Instructions page.

    Referendum Petitions (Statewide)

    A referendum petition is a way for citizens to seek to repeal a law recently enacted by the state Legislature.

    The first step in the process is for 10 registered voters to sign a petition seeking repeal of the law and to file it with the Secretary of the Commonwealth within 30 days after the law's enactment. The Secretary then asks the Attorney General to render an opinion on whether the law is of the type that is subject to a referendum. Certain types of laws are excluded from the referendum process.

    For more information, view the Secretary of State's guide on Referendum Petitions.

    Non-Binding Public Policy Questions (By District)

    A non-binding public policy question is a question placed on the ballot by voter petition in state senatorial or representative district, asking whether the senator or representative from that district should be instructed to vote in favor of specific legislative action - usually a law or a resolution.

    The first step in the process is for 1,200 registered voters in a state senatorial district or 200 registered voters in a state representative district to sign the petition specifying what legislative action is desired.

    Coordinated efforts to place similar or identically-worded petitions on the ballots in multiple districts are permitted.

    The Attorney General and Secretary of the Commonwealth are responsible for determining the final wording of eligible questions and will informally review draft questions at the sponsors' request.

    The process is governed by M.G.L. c. 53, §§ 19 to 22. More information is available on the Secretary of State's guide on Referendum Petitions.

    Local Ballot Questions (Cities and Towns)

    There are numerous types of local (city or town) ballot questions in which the Attorney General ordinarily has no role. These questions include:

    Contact your city or town clerk for more information on local ballot questions. For a guide to the campaign finance requirements that apply to local ballot questions, see the Office of Campaign and Political Finance’s Municipal Ballot Question Committees guide.

AG's Process for Initiative Petitions

Initiative petitions are filed with the Office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General must review and certify each petition for it to move through the rest of the process. The Attorney General also prepares a fair and concise summary for each petition that is certified.  While Attorney General staff will informally review draft petition language before filing and offer suggestions, the Attorney General is not able to prepare a petition for you or assist you with advancing your petition once the certification process is complete.

Steps in the Initiative Petition Process

The initiative process is established by Amendment Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution as a way for citizens to propose laws and constitutional amendments for approval by the electorate. The basic steps for an initiative petition are:

    1. The initiative petition is signed by 10 voters and submitted to the Attorney General by the first Wednesday in August (August 2, 2017).
    2. The Attorney General determines (usually by the first Wednesday in September, i.e., September 6, 2017) whether the measure meets the requirements of Amendment Article 48.
    3. Measures certified by the Attorney General are filed with the Secretary of State.
    4. Thousands of additional voter signatures are gathered (this year, the requirement is 64,750) and filed with local election officials by late November and then with the Secretary of State by the first Wednesday in December.
    5. If signatures enough are gathered, the measure is sent to the Legislature in January of 2018.
    6. The Legislature either approves or disapproves the measure, proposes a substitute, or takes no action.
    7. Unless the Legislature has enacted the measure as filed before the first Wednesday in May of 2018, the proponents gather still more signatures (this year, the requirement is 10,792) by early July.
    8. If proponents gather enough additional signatures, the measure and any legislative substitute are submitted to the people at the next biennial state election (in this case, November of 2018).

The process is similar for constitutional amendments, but they must go through two successive sessions of the Legislature and must (unlike initiative petitions for laws) get the approval of 25% of the legislators in each session. Thus any proposed constitutional amendments submitted by August of 2017 would not appear on the ballot until November of 2020.

Filing a Petition

The first step in the process leading to the 2018 biennial statewide election ballot (for laws) or the 2020 ballot (for constitutional amendments) is for 10 registered voters to sign a petition containing the proposed law or constitutional amendment and to file it with the Attorney General by August 2, 2017.  (It is possible, though unusual, to file a petition by August 1, 2018, for a law intended for the 2020 ballot or a constitutional amendment intended for the 2022 ballot.)

Review and Certification

The Attorney General must review all petitions filed to determine whether they meet certain constitutional requirements, including, in particular, whether a petition addresses any subjects that the Constitution excludes from the initiative process. The Attorney General's review process for petitions filed by August 2, 2017, should be completed by September 6, 2017.

If the petition is certified as meeting the constitutional requirements, the Attorney General also prepares a fair, concise summary of the proposed law (or constitutional amendment) to appear on petitions for gathering additional signatures and on the ballot.

The Attorney General's own policy views play no role in certification decisions. Rather, Amendment Article 48 requires the Attorney General to certify an initiative measure if the following requirements are met and to decline to certify the measure if the requirements are not met:

    • the measure, including its title, must be in proper form for submission to the people;
    • the measure must not be, either affirmatively or negatively, substantially the same as any measure which has been qualified for submission or submitted to the people at either of the two preceding biennial statewide elections; and
    • the measure may contain only subjects that are related or mutually dependent and that are not excluded from the initiative process by Amendment Article 48.

The "excluded matters" requirement usually presents the most challenging legal issues. Based on the express words of Amendment Article 48, as approved by the voters in 1918, many important and controversial areas are simply off-limits to initiative petitions and petitions touching on these matters cannot be certified. This limitation on the "people's process" is often disappointing to petition proponents, but it was approved by the people themselves and is binding on the Attorney General. Under Amendment Article 48, a measure is excluded from the initiative petition process if it:

    • relates to religion, religious practices or religious institutions;
    • relates to the appointment, qualification, tenure, removal, recall or compensation of judges, or the reversal of a judicial decision, or the powers, creation or abolition of courts;
    • is restricted in its operation to a particular town, city or other political division or to particular districts or localities of the Commonwealth;
    • makes a specific appropriation of money from the treasury of the Commonwealth;
    • relates to Amendment Article 18 (religious freedom; the "anti-aid" amendment) or that portion of Amendment Article 48 that specifically excludes matters from the operation of the initiative and referendum process; or
    • is inconsistent with any of the following state constitutional rights:
      • the right to receive compensation for private property appropriated to public use; 
      • the right of access to and protection in courts of justice;
      • the right of trial by jury;
      • protection from unreasonable search, unreasonable bail and the law martial;
      • freedom of the press;
      • freedom of speech;
      • freedom of elections; and
      • the right of peaceable assembly.

This list is exclusive. The Attorney General may not refuse to certify a proposed law on the ground that it clearly conflicts with some other constitutional guarantee not mentioned in Amendment Article 48, such as due process or equal protection. If such a proposed law appeared on the ballot and were approved by the voters, however, it could be challenged in court and could be invalidated.

Process for Considering Certification Issues

The Attorney General's review process is conducted in full cooperation with the sponsors of a proposed law as well as with any opponents of the law who believe it should not be certified. The Attorney General welcomes legal memoranda on whether a proposed law should be certified.  Any such memorandum should also be sent to the sponsors or to any opponents who have identified themselves. The goal of this open process is to ensure that all issues are spotted and all views thoroughly considered before the Attorney General makes the certification decision. A list of all petitions that have been filed with the Attorney General, together with the names and telephone numbers of their sponsors, is usually available here by the close of business on the last day for filing petitions.

Summary Prepared by the Attorney General

If the Attorney General certifies a measure as conforming with these constitutional requirements, the Attorney General also prepares a fair and concise summary of it. The Secretary of the Commonwealth then places this summary on blanks for subsequent signatures. If the measure eventually appears on the ballot, the summary appears in the Information for Voters guide that the Secretary prepares and also on the election ballot. As is the case with certification issues, the Attorney General welcomes comments from both sponsors and opponents on how the summary of each proposed law should read.

Current Petitions Filed

To see a list of current petitions filed, along with the text of each petition, summaries of certified petitions, and explanatory letters responding to legal issues raised by members of the public regarding some petitions, click on the Petitions Filed tab.

Voter Information Materials

If a petition, as of April of an even-numbered year, remains eligible to appear on the November ballot, M.G.L. c. 54, § 53, requires the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to jointly prepare certain voter information materials. These materials are (1) a “ballot question title,” a short title that appears in the Information for Voters Guide published by the Secretary; and (2) “fair and neutral one sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote,” which appear in the Information for Voters guide and on the November ballot. Drafting of these materials ordinarily begins by April 1 and is complete later in April.  Interested parties’ comments are welcomed on drafts of these materials prepared by the Attorney General and Secretary. For more information or to participate in the process, please contact Juliana Rice, Deputy Chief, Government Bureau, at 617-963-2583 or send an email to ballotquestions@state.ma.us.

Advance Notice of Filing/Review of Petitions

Contact us as far in advance as possible of the first-Wednesday-in-August filing deadline to:

    • advise us of your intent to file, and
    • request, at your option, advance review of a draft of your petition.

Once a petition has been signed and filed, it may not be changed (except for minor “perfecting amendments” that happen the following spring.)  Therefore, we welcome the chance to review draft petitions on an informal, non-binding basis, and will make suggestions for changes to avoid certification problems if draft petitions are submitted prior to the filing deadline. The sooner the draft is submitted, the better; do not wait until the petition has been signed.

Contact: Deputy Government Bureau Chief Juliana Rice at (617) 963-2583, email ballotquestions@state.ma.us, fax (617) 727-5785. Email is preferred.

Petition Title, Enacting Style, and Content

Although the courts have not yet ruled on whether an initiative petition must have a title, play it safe by including a title indicating that the petition is an initiative petition for a law (or for a constitutional amendment, where applicable) and making some mention of the subject matter of the proposed measure.

Also, if you are filing an initiative petition for a law (not a constitutional amendment), include the "enacting style." The "enacting style" is the phrase that goes after the title of your petition but before the text of the actual law itself. Under M.G.L. c. 4, § 3, "The enacting style of all measures submitted to the people in pursuance of an initiative petition for a law shall be: Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority." (There is no prescribed enacting style for a petition proposing a constitutional amendment.) The beginning of an initiative petition for a law should therefore look something like the following:

Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to [fill in subject, e.g., Taxes]

Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority:

[set forth full text of your proposed law here]

The initiative petition process is a vehicle for making laws, not for voting on statements of policy.

With that in mind, it is safest to avoid long statements describing “findings,” “statements of purpose," "declarations of public policy,” or the like as arguments in favor of your petition may be viewed as advocacy that could make your petition inappropriate to be certified for the ballot.

Signers of Original Petitions

It is preferable to have each signer of the petition put his or her initials on each page of the petition, to avoid any later question about whether the person signing actually saw the final version of the petition.

Get well more than 10 signatures on your original petition to guard against the possibility that a defect in one signer's certificate or voter registration status will invalidate the petition.

Voter Registration Certificates

Note especially the requirement (under M.G.L. c. 53, § 22A) that, for each original signer of a petition, there must be filed, with the petition, a certificate of voter registration from the board of registrars or election commission in the city or town in which the signer is a registered voter, showing the address at which the signer is registered.  Each certificate of voter registration must be signed by at least three members of the board of registrars or election commission. Facsimile stamps of registrars' or election commissioners' signatures are acceptable.

The courts have not ruled on whether such certificates must be filed with the Attorney General, but to play it safe, file the certificates with the Attorney General when filing the petition itself, and in any event on or before the first Wednesday in August. 

If your petition is certified, we will return the original certificates to you for filing with the Secretary of State.

Filing

Paper Petition

A printed and signed original petition must be filed in order for it to be valid. (See also comment above regarding voter registration certificates).

You need not wait until the first Wednesday in August to file the final version of your petition with the Attorney General. Petitions will be accepted at any time, and early filings are encouraged, but do keep in mind that a petition may not be changed once it is officially filed. If you intend to file early, please call or email to let us know, so that we can make sure someone is available to receive your petition.

When you file your petition, we will give you a paper receipt for it.  Please hold onto this.  When you come back in September to pick up your certified petition, we will ask you for your receipt.

Filings are accepted at One Ashburton Place, 20th Floor, Boston, MA 02108-1598. You may file by mail, but we strongly discourage it, as we cannot accept late petitions, even if they were delayed in the mail.

All filings must be received by close of business, 5:00 P.M., on the first Wednesday in August.

For each petition you file, you will also be asked to complete an Initiative Petition Information Sheet. To expedite filing, we encourage you to complete this form in advance, rather than when you file your petition in person.

Electronic Version

In addition to the formal paper filing described above, we request that you also provide us with an electronic version of your petition. This will greatly facilitate review by our office and public access to the text of your petition via our website.

Electronic versions should:

    • be exact copies of the text of your petition and should also list, at the end, the names and addresses of at least 10 of the original signers;
    • be submitted in Word format if possible;
    • be filed, preferably by email to ballotquestions@state.ma.us, or on CD or thumbdrive (which will be returned to you), no later than the close of business, 5:00 P.M., on the first Wednesday in August;
    • if at all possible, be accompanied by an electronic copy of the completed Initiative Petition Information Sheet. You may include the information sheet and corresponding petition in a single electronic document, with the information sheet at the beginning.

Public Participation in Initiative Petition Review

You or your organization may have an interest in one or more of the initiative petitions submitted to the Attorney General for certification pursuant to Amendment Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution.

The Attorney General must determine whether the proposed measure meets certain constitutional requirements: in particular, whether the measure addresses any subjects that the Constitution excludes from the initiative process. If the measure is certified, the Attorney General prepares a fair, concise summary of the measure to appear on petitions for gathering additional signatures and on the ballot. This process will be completed by the first Wednesday in September.

You are invited to participate in this process in either or both of the following ways:

  • Submitting a memorandum of law by the Friday nine days after the petition-filing deadline, setting forth legal reasons why the Attorney General should or should not certify the measure as conforming to Amendment Article 48. Submissions must specifically address the legal requirements of Amendment Article 48: memoranda arguing against certification on policy grounds cannot be considered. Joint submissions by one or more organizations are encouraged; separate submissions making the same points are unnecessary.
  • Reviewing and commenting upon a draft summary of the measure, to be circulated by this office later in August. You may also submit a proposed summary of the measure by the Friday nine days after the petition-filing deadline.

If you choose to submit a memorandum or draft summary, please simultaneously send a copy to the proponents' contact person, whose names are listed on the Initiative Petition Information Sheet attached to the petition. All memos will be available to interested members of the public. Electronic submissions are encouraged; please email to ballotquestions@state.ma.us or contact Juliana Rice, Deputy Chief, Government Bureau, at 617-963-2583.

If you wish to participate in any way, please fill out and return the Participant Form as indicated on the form. Participant Form - Initiative Petition Review Process (Fillable PDF) file size 1MB

Note: The Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) advises that contributions and expenditures made by any corporation, organization, association, or other group of persons for the purpose of promoting or opposing a potential ballot question are subject to the provisions of the campaign finance laws, M.G.L. c. 55.

For more information, refer to OCPF's Campaign Finance Guide for Ballot Question Committees, and Interpretive Bulletins 88-01 and 90-02; call OCPF at (617) 979-8300 or (800) 462-OCPF; or visit the OCPF website.

Petitions Filed

Below is a list of initiative petitions filed with the Attorney General's Office and the Attorney General's certification decisions.

To view a particular petition, including more information on how to contact its sponsors, and to view summaries of certified petitions and explanatory letters responding to legal issues raised by members of the public regarding some petitions, click on the Petition Number links below.

All links found under the Petition and Attorney General's Determination/Summary of Petition link to PDF documents.

The documents listed below are the electronically submitted versions of the initiative petitions filed with the Attorney General’s Office. Officially filed copies with signatures are available for review at the Attorney General’s Office. Please contact us if you would like to review these.

17-01 An Initiative Petition for a Constitutional Amendment

Proponent of IP 17-01

Thomas M. Harvey, Esq.
(617) 710-3616
tom@stoptaxpayerabortion.org

Petition as Filed

17-01 pdf format of 17-01.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed constitutional amendment would permit the state to exclude abortion services from state-funded health care.

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

Proponent of IP 17-02:

Knute S. Alfredson, M.D.
978-342-7590
knutealfredson@yahoo.com

Petition as Filed

17-02 pdf format of 17-02.pdf
file size 1MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law 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.  This proposed law would take the place of the current law requiring medical providers to disclose the costs of all medical admissions, procedures, or services within two working days of a patient’s request.

The proposed law would require medical and dental practices and facilities to disclose the cost of radiology and imaging procedures in three ways.  First, providers that maintain websites would be required to include a link entitled “Fees for Radiology and other Imaging Procedures.” There, the provider would be required to identify the procedures and, for each one, supply the billing code submitted to Medicare and the undiscounted fee for the procedure.  Second, the provider would be required to conspicuously display this information where the procedure is performed.  Finally, prior to the procedure being performed, the provider would be required to give the patient a written statement including the name of the procedure, the Medicare billing code, the undiscounted fee, and the amount of any discount for uninsured individuals.

The proposed law would also require providers of radiology and imaging services to, upon request, give patients covered by health plans the Medicare billing code of the radiology service and a toll-free number where the patient could get information about out-of-pocket costs.

Failure to comply with the proposed law’s disclosure requirement would constitute a violation of Chapter 93A of the General Laws and the Attorney General would be responsible for enforcing the proposed law’s requirements. The Attorney General could request assistance from state agencies to conduct surveillance of medical provider websites and could perform on-site inspections and respond to consumer complaints.

If the Attorney General had reason to suspect non-compliance with the requirements of the proposed law, she could send an inquiry letter, requiring the provider to respond within 30 days and detail any planned remedial action.  If the Attorney General concluded that non-compliance continued 30 days after the inquiry letter, she could send a warming letter advising the provider of possible license suspension or revocation in the event of continued non-compliance.  If non-compliance continued 45 days after the warning letter, the provider could be called to appear before the Attorney General or an agency designated by her and be suspended from practice.  If non-compliance continued beyond 90 days, the relevant licensing board could revoke the provider’s license.

This proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019.

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

Proponent of IP 17-03:

Johannes Epke, Esq.
(415) 717-5049
johannese@americanpromise.net

Petition as Filed

17-03 pdf format of 17-03.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: 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.

Any resident of Massachusetts who is a United States citizen would be able to apply for appointment to the 15-member commission, and members would serve without compensation. The Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the state Attorney General, the Speaker of the state House of Representatives, and the President of the state Senate would each appoint three members of the commission and, in making these appointments, would seek to ensure that the commission reflects a range of geographic, political, and demographic backgrounds.

The commission would be required to research and take testimony, and then issue a report regarding (1) the impact of political spending in Massachusetts; (2) any limitations on the state’s ability to regulate corporations and other entities in light of Supreme Court decisions that allow corporations to assert certain constitutional rights; (3) recommendations for constitutional amendments; (4) an analysis of constitutional amendments introduced to Congress; and (5) recommendations for advancing proposed amendments to the United States Constitution.  

The commission would be subject to the state Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law.  The commission’s first report would be due December 31, 2019, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth would be required to deliver the commission’s report to the state Legislature, the United States Congress, and the President of the United States. 

The proposed law states that, if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect. The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019.

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

Proponent of IP 17-04:

Knute S. Alfredson, M.D.
978-342-7590
knutealfredson@yahoo.com

Petition as Filed

17-04 pdf format of 17-04.pdf
file size 1MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law 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.  This proposed law would take the place of the current law requiring medical providers to disclose the costs of all medical admissions, procedures, or services within two working days of a patient’s request.

The proposed law would require medical and dental practices and facilities to disclose the cost of radiology and imaging procedures in three ways.  First, providers that maintain websites would be required to include a link entitled “Fees for Radiology and other Imaging Procedures.”  There, the provider would be required to identify the procedures and, for each one, supply the billing code submitted to Medicare and the undiscounted fee for the procedure.  Second, the provider would be required to conspicuously display this information where the procedure is performed.  Finally, prior to the procedure being performed, the provider would be required to give the patient a written statement including the name of the procedure, the Medicare billing code, the undiscounted fee, and the amount of any discount for uninsured individuals.

The proposed law would also require providers of radiology and imaging services to, upon request, give patients covered by health plans the Medicare billing code of the radiology service and a toll-free number where the patient could get information about out-of-pocket costs.

Failure to comply with the proposed law’s disclosure requirements would constitute a violation of Chapter 93A of the General Laws and the Attorney General would be responsible for enforcing the proposed law’s requirements.  The Attorney General could request assistance from state agencies to conduct surveillance of medical provider websites and could perform on-site inspections and respond to patient complaints.

If the Attorney General had reason to suspect non-compliance with the requirements of the proposed law, she could send an inquiry letter, requiring the provider to respond within 60 days and detail any planned remedial action.  If the Attorney General concluded that non-compliance continued 60 days after the inquiry letter, she could send a letter notifying the provider of the continued non-compliance and giving the provider 30 days to comply.  If non-compliance continued 30 days after this letter, the Attorney General could send a warning letter advising the provider of possible license suspension or revocation in the event of continued non-compliance.  Notice of this warning letter would be posted on the Attorney General’s website and the website of the provider’s licensing board.

If non-compliance continued 45 days after the warning letter, the provider could be called to appear before the Attorney General or an agency designated by her and be suspended from practice.  If non-compliance continued beyond 90 days, the relevant licensing board could revoke the provider’s license.

This proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019.

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

Proponent of IP 17-05

Pearl Cohen
508-807-0356
pearlcohen@comcast.net

Petition as Filed

17-05 pdf format of 17-05
file size 1MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would require an animal shelter or rescue to hold lost, abandoned, stray, or surrendered animals and animals removed from the home for at least seven days before euthanizing, unless the animal is seriously or terminally ill.  This proposed law would require animal control officers and shelters to contact three state Department of Agriculture registered shelters or rescues two business days before euthanizing an animal to offer the contacted shelters or rescues the opportunity to take possession of the animal.  The proposed law would allow a shelter or rescue to transfer an animal within the seven-day hold period to another shelter or rescue as long as the receiving facility continued to hold the animal for the remainder of the seven days.  The proposed law would authorize a shelter or rescue to begin adoption proceedings before the seven-day hold expires and would allow owners to reclaim animals at any time during the hold period.

This proposed law would limit those authorized to euthanize animals to state licensed veterinarians or veterinary technicians working under the supervision of veterinarians, and would prohibit the use of intra-cardiac injection of barbiturates as a form of euthanasia.  However, under the proposed law, a police officer, constable, or animal control officer could euthanize a dog in a humane manner if the dog is in violation of an order of a hearing authority or a district court or living in a wild state.   Animal control officers would no longer be required to complete a course in humane euthanasia before euthanizing an animal.  The proposed law would require animal control officers to check the description of dogs and cats against descriptions of animals registered in the city or town.

The proposed law would also require shelters to make good-faith efforts, depending on funding availability, to have potentially dangerous animals evaluated by trainers.  If an evaluated animal were transferred to another shelter or rescue, this proposed law would require all evaluation results be provided in writing and any negative results provided to potential adopters. 

The proposed law would also authorize the trapping, neutering, and release of community cats, which are cats that are abandoned, stray, lost or born living outdoors and cared for by members of the community.  However, this law would prohibit the trapping of such cats for the sole purpose of destroying the cat unless it is seriously or terminally ill.  For community cats in the trap/neuter/release program, this proposed law would require a shelter or rescue to: (1) return the cat to the location where it was trapped, or other suitable location, when medically safe to do so; (2) make the best determination possible that the cat is not stray or lost; (3) for stray or lost cats, hold the cat for at least seven days before sterilization to allow the owner to reclaim the animal; and (4) at the shelter’s or rescue’s discretion, hold the cat for longer than seven days, transfer the cat to another facility, or adopt out the cat.  For community cats not in the trap/neuter/release program, the proposed law would permit a shelter or rescue to: (1) after the seven days and before returning the cat to the location where it was found or other suitable location, contact another shelter or rescue to take custody of the cat or release the cat to a community cat caregiver; (2) transfer the cat to another shelter or rescue for the remainder of the seven-day hold; or (3) after the seven-day hold, offer the cat for adoption.

A fine of between $25 and $100 could be assessed for each violation of this proposed law. 

The proposed law states that, if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.

The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019. 

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

Proponent of IP 17-06

Daniel Farnkoff
(857) 247-5828
danfarnkoff@gmail.com

Petition as Filed

17-06 pdf format of 17-06.pdf
file size 1MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would prohibit the use of any procedure that causes physical pain to a person with a physical, intellectual, or developmental disability for the purpose of changing that person’s behavior.  Such procedures, including hitting, pinching, and electric shock, would be prohibited in programs or facilities funded, operated, or approved by the state.

The proposed law would also ban physical contact or punishment that would be prohibited if used on a person without a disability, as well as any procedure that denies reasonable sleep, food, shelter, bedding, bathroom facilities, or other basic needs to a person with a disability. 

The proposed law would make it a crime for any person to administer or cause to be administered painful electric shocks on a person with a disability.  Violations would be punishable by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or in the state prison for not more than ten years.

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

Proponent of IP 17-07

Ed Colbert, Esq.
(617)426-5900
Colbert@casneredwards.com

Petition as Filed

17-07 pdf format of 17-07
file size 4MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would limit how many patients could be assigned to each registered nurse in Massachusetts hospitals and certain other health care facilities.  The maximum number of patients per registered nurse would vary by type of unit and level of care, as follows:

  • In units with step-down/intermediate care patients: 3 patients per nurse;
  • In units with post-anesthesia care or operating room patients:  1 patient under anesthesia per nurse; 2 patients post-anesthesia per nurse;
  • In the emergency services department: 1 critical or intensive care patient per nurse (or 2 if the nurse has assessed each patient’s condition as stable); 2 urgent non-stable patients per nurse; 3 urgent stable patients per nurse; or 5 non-urgent stable patients per nurse;  
  • In units with maternity patients: (a) active labor patients: 1 patient per nurse; (b) during birth and for up to two hours immediately postpartum: 1 mother per nurse and 1 baby per nurse; (c) when the condition of the mother and baby are determined to be stable: 1 mother and her baby or babies per nurse; (d) postpartum: 6 patients per nurse; (e) intermediate care or continuing care babies: 2 babies per nurse; (f) well-babies: 6 babies per nurse;
  • In units with pediatric, medical, surgical, telemetry, or observational/outpatient treatment patients, or any other unit: 4 patients per nurse; and
  • In units with psychiatric or rehabilitation patients: 5 patients per nurse. 

The proposed law would require a covered facility to comply with the patient assignment limits without reducing its level of nursing, service, maintenance, clerical, professional, and other staff. 

The proposed law would also require every covered facility to develop a written patient acuity tool for each unit to evaluate the condition of each patient.  This tool would be used by nurses in deciding whether patient limits should be lower than the limits of the proposed law at any given time.

The proposed law would not override any contract in effect on January 1, 2019 that set higher patient limits.  The proposed law’s limits would take effect after any such contract expired.

The state Health Policy Commission would be required to promulgate regulations to implement the proposed law.  The Commission could conduct inspections to ensure compliance with the law.  Any facility receiving written notice from the Commission of a complaint or a violation would be required to submit a written compliance plan to the Commission.  The Commission could report violations to the state Attorney General, who could file suit to obtain a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation as well as up to $25,000 for each day a violation continued after the Commission notified the covered facility of the violation.  The Health Policy Commission would be required to establish a toll-free telephone number for complaints and a website where complaints, compliance plans, and violations would appear.

The proposed law would prohibit discipline or retaliation against any employee for complying with the patient assignment limits of the law.  The proposed law would require every covered facility to post within each unit, patient room, and waiting area a notice explaining the patient limits and how to report violations.  Each day of a facility’s non-compliance with the posting requirement would be punishable by a civil penalty between $250 and $2,500. 

The proposed law’s requirements would be suspended during a state or nationally declared public health emergency.   

The proposed law states that, if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.  The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019.   

17-08 An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Patient Safety and Hospital Transparency – Version B

Proponent of IP 17-08

Ed Colbert, Esq.
(617)426-5900
Colbert@casneredwards.com

Petition as Filed

17-08 pdf format of 17-08.pdf
file size 4MB

Certified: No

Contains subjects that are not related or mutually dependent.

17-08 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-08 Declination Letter
file size 1MB

17-09 An Initiative Petition for a Law to End All Tolling in Massachusetts

Proponent of IP 17-09

Steve Tougas
(617) 347-2010
Stougas411@yahoo.com

Petition as Filed

17-09 pdf format of 17-09.pdf

Certified: No

Results in an uncompensated taking of property.

17-09 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-09 Declination Letter
file size 1MB

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

Proponent of IP 17-10

Thomas R. Kiley, Esq.
(617) 439-7775
tkiley@ceklaw.net

Petition as Filed

17-10 pdf format of 17-10

Certified: Yes

Summary: 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 to the Secretary attesting to the tax returns’ completeness and consenting to redaction and required public disclosure of the tax returns by the Secretary.  The proposed law would permit the candidate or Secretary to redact certain information from the returns in whole or in part, including minors’ names, government-issued identification numbers, and financial account numbers.

The deadline for submittal of tax returns by candidates seeking to appear on the presidential primary ballot would be the first Friday in January of the year of the primary.  If a candidate failed to comply with the proposed law’s requirements, his or her name could not appear on the primary ballot.  A candidate’s failure to comply with the proposed law’s requirements would relieve that candidate’s delegates of their obligation to vote for the candidate in any roll-call vote at a national convention of a political party.  The Secretary would be required to make the tax returns public 30 days before the primary or as soon as practicable.

The deadline for submitting the tax returns (or updating an earlier disclosure) prior to the general election would be the last Tuesday in August before the election.  If a candidate failed to comply with the proposed law’s requirements, the candidate’s name could not appear on the general election ballot.  The proposed law would also apply to write-in candidates for president and vice president, who would be required to submit their tax returns 60 days before the general election.  The Secretary would be required to make candidates’ tax returns public 50 days before the general election or as soon as practicable. 

17-11 An Initiative Petition Relative to Corporate Rights and Political Spending

Proponent of IP 17-11

Nick Bokron
(781) 715-7822
nbokron@gmail.com

Petition as Filed

17-11.pdf  pdf format of 17-11.pdf

Certified: No

Inconsistent with certain constitutional rights.

17-11 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-11 Declination Letter
file size 3MB

17-12 An Initiative Petition Relative to Disclosure to Ensure No Foreign Influence on the Political Process

Proponent of IP 17-12

Nick Bokron
(781) 715-7822
nbokron@gmail.com

Petition as Filed

17-12.pdf  pdf format of 17-12.pdf

Certified: No

Inconsistent with freedom of speech.

17-12 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-12 Declination Letter
file size 2MB

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

Proponent of IP 17-13

Nick Bokron
(781) 715-7822
nbokron@gmail.com

Petition as Filed

17-13.pdf  pdf format of 17-13.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: 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.

Under the proposed law, candidates could accept single contributions of up to $500 from political action committees organized outside Massachusetts or up to $500 per year in contributions from individuals residing outside Massachusetts.  The proposed law would impose an aggregate annual contribution limit under which individuals residing outside Massachusetts would be permitted to contribute a maximum of $1000 per calendar year to all Massachusetts candidates.

Ballot question committees could accept single contributions of up to $15,000 from political action committees organized outside Massachusetts or single contributions of up to $500 from individuals residing outside Massachusetts.

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

Proponent of IP 17-14

Nick Bokron
(781) 715-7822
nbokron@gmail.com

Petition as Filed

17-14.pdf  pdf format of 17-14.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would impose limits on how much state, county, or local political candidates could accept in monetary contributions from political action committees organized outside Massachusetts or from individuals residing outside Massachusetts.

Under the proposed law, candidates could accept single contributions of up to $500 from political action committees organized outside Massachusetts or up to $500 per year in contributions from individuals residing outside Massachusetts.  The proposed law would impose an aggregate annual contribution limit under which individuals residing outside Massachusetts would be permitted to contribute a maximum of $1000 per calendar year to all Massachusetts candidates.

17-15 An Initiative Petition for Proposed Land Reform Law

Proponent of IP 17-15

Shawn Cooper
90 Medford Street #648
Boston, MA  02129

Petition as Filed

17-15.pdf  pdf format of 17-15.pdf

Certified: No

Not in proper form.

17-15 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-15 Declination Letter
file size 1MB

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

Proponent of IP 17-16

Richard Max Strahan
(617) 817-4402
esistoo@yahoo.com

Petition as Filed

17-16.pdf  pdf format of 17-16.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would prohibit the Director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries from authorizing or licensing the commercial use of fishing gear known to entangle whales or sea turtles.  The state Secretary of Environmental Affairs would be required to make an annual scientific determination whether any kind of fishing gear licensed by the Director would cause the entanglement of any whale or sea turtle.  The Director could license only fishing gear that has been determined not to cause such entanglements.  The proposed law would prohibit the Director from permitting the use of any type of gill net or other fishing gear that suspends a curtain of mesh material in the ocean to capture fish without being actively towed. 

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

Proponent of IP 17-17

Harris Gruman
(617) 316-0443
harris.gruman@seiu.org

Petition as Filed

17-17.pdf  pdf format of 17-17.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would raise the state’s minimum wage, which was $11.00 per hour as of January 1, 2017, to $12.00 in 2019; $13.00 in 2020; $14.00 in 2021; and $15.00 in 2022.  The proposed law would also raise the minimum cash wage that must be paid to tipped employees, which was $3.75 per hour as of January 1, 2017, to $5.05 in 2019; $6.35 in 2020; $7.64 in 2021; and $9.00 in 2022. 

Beginning in 2023 and each year after that, the proposed law would require the Commissioner of the state Department of Labor Standards to adjust the minimum wage and the minimum cash wage for tipped employees based on the twelve-month percentage increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index published by the United States Department of Labor.

The proposed law would deem the state Department of Early Education and Care the employer of family child-care providers for purposes of the minimum wage law.  It would require the state Attorney General to determine rates to be paid to family child-care providers by the Department of Early Education and Care that are substantially equivalent to the minimum wage.

The proposed law states that, if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.

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

Proponent of IP 17-18

Debra Ann Fastino
(508) 678-5497
dfastino@aol.com

Petition as Filed

17-18.pdf  pdf format of 17-18.pdf

Certified: Yes

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

Beginning 18 months after the effective date of the proposed law, covered workers could take family leave to care for with a child after the child’s birth, adoption, or placement in foster care; to care for a seriously ill family member; or to address needs arising from a family member’s active duty military service.  Workers could also take medical leave to address their own medical conditions.

Covered workers taking family or medical leave would receive 90% of their average weekly earnings, up to $1,000 per week.  Beginning January 1, 2021, the weekly cap on benefits could be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index published by the United States Department of Labor for the Boston metropolitan area.

Covered workers could take up to 16 weeks of family leave or 26 weeks of medical leave.  A covered worker could not take more than a total of 26 weeks of both types of leave in one year.  Paid leave could be taken intermittently and would run concurrently with leave taken under the state Parental Leave Act or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. 

The proposed law would create a trust fund into which employers would pay 0.63% of each employee’s annual wages, up to half of which could be deducted from employee wages.  Businesses that contract with self-employed individuals and any self-employed individuals who elect coverage would be required to pay one-half of the required 0.63% into the trust fund.  No contributions would be required for wages above the Social Security contribution and benefit base limit.  Contributions to the fund would begin six months after the effective date of the proposed law.  Beginning October 1, 2021, the contribution rate would be reviewed and adjusted annually to ensure funding of at least 140% of the amounts paid out during the previous year.

The proposed law would cover both private and public employees, except that municipal employees would be covered only if the proposed law were accepted by vote of the city or town.

Employees would be required to give their employers two weeks’ notice of their leave (or give notice as soon as practicable) and provide documentation supporting their need for leave.  Employees returning from family or medical leave would have the right to their positions or to equivalent positions.  Employers would be prohibited from retaliating against employees based the use of family and medical leave.  Employees could sue in Superior Court seeking three times their lost wages and benefits as well as court costs and attorney’s fees for unlawful retaliation by an employer.

The proposed law would create the state Department of Family and Medical Leave, which would implement the proposed law through promulgating regulations, processing applications for benefits, and conducting hearings on denial of benefits.  The department’s decision could be appealed to District Court.  The department would be required to prepare a multilingual notice regarding the proposed law, which employers and covered businesses would be required to post conspicuously and provide to employees and self-employed individuals. 

The proposed law states that, if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.  The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2019.

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

Proponent of IP 17-19

Jon B. Hurst
(617) 523-1900
jhurst@retailersma.org

Petition as Filed

17-19.pdf  pdf format of 17-19.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use taxes from their current rate of 6.25% (as of September, 2017) to 4.5%.  It would make the same reduction in the rate used to determine the amount non-resident building contractors must deposit with the state Commissioner of Revenue as security for the payment of sales and use tax on goods used in carrying out their contracts.

The proposed law would also require the Commissioner of Revenue to designate a weekend in August of each year during which many items could be purchased without the payment of sales tax (but excluding meals, motor vehicles and boats, utilities, and any item costing more than $2,500).

If the reduction in the sales tax proposed by this measure were to cause a public entity funded by the sales tax (for example, the MBTA or the School Building Authority) to be unable to make a debt payment, the proposed law would require the state treasurer to make the payment instead.  The state’s liability would be limited to the amount attributable to the sales tax reduction, and the public entity would be required to repay the state within 5 years.

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

Proponent of IP 17-20

Jon B. Hurst
(617) 523-1900
jhurst@retailersma.org

Petition as Filed

17-20.pdf  pdf format of 17-20.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use taxes from their current rate of 6.25% (as of September, 2017) to 4.5%.  It would make the same reduction in the rate used to determine the amount non-resident building contractors must deposit with the state Commissioner of Revenue as security for the payment of sales and use tax on goods used in carrying out their contracts.

If the reduction in the sales tax proposed by this measure were to cause a public entity funded by the sales tax (for example, the MBTA or the School Building Authority) to be unable to make a debt payment, the proposed law would require the state treasurer to make the payment instead.  The state’s liability would be limited to the amount attributable to the sales tax reduction, and the public entity would be required to repay the state within 5 years.

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

Proponent of IP 17-21

Jon B. Hurst
(617) 523-1900
jhurst@retailersma.org

Petition as Filed

17-21.pdf  pdf format of 17-21.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use taxes from their current rate of 6.25% (as of September, 2017) to 5.0%.  It would make the same reduction in the rate used to determine the amount non-resident building contractors must deposit with the state Commissioner of Revenue as security for the payment of sales and use tax on goods used in carrying out their contracts.

The proposed law would also require the Commissioner of Revenue to designate a weekend in August of each year during which many items could be purchased without the payment of sales tax (but excluding meals, motor vehicles and boats, utilities, and any item costing more than $2,500).

If the reduction in the sales tax proposed by this measure were to cause a public entity funded by the sales tax (for example, the MBTA or the School Building Authority) to be unable to make a debt payment, the proposed law would require the state treasurer to make the payment instead.  The state’s liability would be limited to the amount attributable to the sales tax reduction, and the public entity would be required to repay the state within 5 years.

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

Proponent of IP 17-22

Jon B. Hurst
(617) 523-1900
jhurst@retailersma.org

Petition as Filed

17-22.pdf  pdf format of 17-22.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use taxes from their current rate of 6.25% (as of September, 2017) to 5.0%.  It would make the same reduction in the rate used to determine the amount non-resident building contractors must deposit with the state Commissioner of Revenue as security for the payment of sales and use tax on goods used in carrying out their contracts.

If the reduction in the sales tax proposed by this measure were to cause a public entity funded by the sales tax (for example, the MBTA or the School Building Authority) to be unable to make a debt payment, the proposed law would require the state treasurer to make the payment instead.  The state’s liability would be limited to the amount attributable to the sales tax reduction, and the public entity would be required to repay the state within 5 years.

17-23 An Initiative Petition for a Law Raising the Minimum Wage

Proponent of IP 17-23

Lauren Brown
brownlauren52@gmail.com

Petition as Filed

17-23.pdf  pdf format of 17-23.pdf

Certified: No

Not in proper form.

17-23 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-23 Declination Letter
file size 1MB

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

Proponent of IP 17-24

Amber Houghstow
(855) 350-3503
info@commonwealthclimate.org

Petition as Filed

17-24.pdf  pdf format of 17-24.pdf
file size 1MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would create and amend programs to govern and promote the use of electricity generated from renewable energy resources.

This proposed law would raise the annual percentage increase of renewable energy use in Massachusetts, which is currently 1% per year, to 3% per year beginning in 2019, 4% per year beginning in 2023, and 5% per year beginning in 2028.  It would also require 17.5% of electricity used in Massachusetts to come from solar power by 2025 and 25% by 2030.  The state Department of Energy Resources would be authorized to provide monetary incentives and grants to achieve increases in solar power use, provided that at least 25% of these incentives would go to households located in communities with average household income equal to or less than 65% of the statewide median, 25% or higher minority residents, or 25% or higher residents with limited English language proficiency; or to communities at risk of being negatively affected by environmental contamination and pollution.

The proposed law would also require the state Department of Energy Resources to establish a working group to promote solar panel ownership to households in communities as described above.  The department would be required to report every four years regarding the long-term value of solar energy in the state.

The proposed law would also change the state’s net metering program, which allows a customer or a group of customers to generate their own electricity and to sell excess electricity back to the distribution companies in the form of credits.  The proposed law would create a new type of credit for solar power facilities that allocate at least 50% of any credit received to residents of publicly-assisted housing, low-income households, or households in communities as described above.  It would also remove existing limits on aggregated net metering, but leave in place a 10 megawatt capacity limit on net metering by a municipality or other governmental entity.

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

Proponent of IP 17-25

Amber Houghstow
(855) 350-3503
info@commonwealthclimate.org

Petition as Filed

17-25.pdf  pdf format of 17-25.pdf
file size 1MB

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would create and amend programs to govern and promote the use of electricity generated from renewable energy resources.

This proposed law would raise the annual percentage increase of renewable energy use in Massachusetts, which is currently 1% per year, to 3% per year beginning in 2019.  It would also require 17.5% of electricity used in Massachusetts to come from solar power by 2025 and 25% by 2030.  The state Department of Energy Resources would be authorized to provide monetary incentives and grants to achieve increases in solar power use, provided that at least 25% of these incentives would go to households located in communities with average household income equal to or less than 65% of the statewide median, 25% or higher minority residents, or 25% or higher residents with limited English language proficiency; or to communities at risk of being negatively affected by environmental contamination and pollution.

The proposed law would also require the state Department of Energy Resources to establish a working group to promote solar panel ownership to households in communities as described above.  The department would be required to report every four years regarding the long-term value of solar energy in the state.

The proposed law would also change the state’s net metering program, which allows a customer or a group of customers to generate their own electricity and to sell excess electricity back to the distribution companies in the form of credits.  The proposed law would create a new type of credit for solar power facilities that allocate at least 50% of any credit received to residents of publicly-assisted housing, low-income households, or households in communities as described above.  It would also remove existing limits on aggregated net metering, but leave in place a 10 megawatt capacity limit on net metering by a municipality or other governmental entity.   

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

Proponent of IP 17-26

Amber Houghstow
(855) 350-3503
info@commonwealthclimate.org

Petition as Filed

17-26.pdf  pdf format of 17-26.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would create programs to govern and promote the use of electricity generated from clean energy resources.

This proposed law would require retail electric suppliers to provide at least 16% of the electricity used in Massachusetts from clean energy generating sources by December 31, 2019.  This required percentage of clean energy would increase by 4% each year until 2023, when it would increase by 5% each year until 2029, when it would increase by 6% each year.

The proposed law would also require municipal light boards and municipal electric departments to supply at least 7% of electricity used in Massachusetts from clean energy generating sources by December 31, 2021.  This percentage of clean energy would increase by 4% each year until 2029, when it would increase by 5% each year until 2036, when it would increase by 6% each year.

Electric suppliers would be required to demonstrate their compliance with this proposed law annually, or make a payment to the state Department of Energy Resources to be used for clean energy generating sources.  Clean energy generating sources would include certain types of solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and landfill gas power conversion technologies.  The department could add to the list of what qualifies as a clean energy generating source.

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

Proponent of IP 17-27

Amber Houghstow
(855) 350-3503
info@commonwealthclimate.org

Petition as Filed

17-27.pdf  pdf format of 17-27.pdf

Certified: Yes

Summary: This proposed law would create programs to govern and promote the use of electricity generated from clean energy resources.

This proposed law would require retail electric suppliers to provide at least 16% of the electricity used in Massachusetts from clean energy generating sources by December 31, 2019.  This required percentage of clean energy would increase by 4% each year until 2023, when it would increase by 5% each year until 2029, when it would increase by 6% each year.

The proposed law would also require municipal light boards and municipal electric departments to supply at least 7% of electricity used in Massachusetts from clean energy generating sources by December 31, 2021.  This percentage of clean energy would increase by 4% each year until 2029, when it would increase by 5% each year until 2036, when it would increase by 6% each year.

Electric suppliers would be required to demonstrate their compliance with this proposed law annually, or make a payment to the state Department of Energy Resources to be used for clean energy generating sources.  Clean energy generating sources would include certain types of solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and landfill gas power conversion technologies.  The department could add to the list of what qualifies as a clean energy generating source.

The proposed law would also require the department to establish a council to make recommendations on the implementation of the proposed law, including mitigating electric rate increases in low-income communities and communities with average household income equal to or less than 65% of the statewide median, 25% or higher minority residents, or 25% or higher residents with limited English language proficiency; or communities at risk of being negatively affected by environmental contamination and pollution.  The council would consist of nine to fifteen members appointed by the secretary of the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.  The members would represent the communities described above, the Department of Energy Resources, the state Department of Public Health, the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

17-28 An Initiative Petition to Minimize Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Holistic Healthcare for Massachusetts Citizens

Proponent of IP 17-28

Carl Tripp
(857) 256-0792
info@holistichealthma.org

Petition as Filed

17-28.pdf  pdf format of 17-28.pdf
file size 1MB

Certified: No

Not in proper form.

17-28 Declination Letter  pdf format of 17-28 Declination Letter
file size 2MB

15-17 An Initiative Petition for An Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth to Provide Resources for Education and Transportation through an additional tax on Incomes in excess of One Million Dollars

As an initiative petition for a constitutional amendment, Initiative Petition No. 15-17 appears here because it remains viable for the November 2018 statewide election ballot.

Proponent of IP 15-17

Harris L. Gruman
(617) 909-4698

Summary of IP 15-17

This proposed constitutional amendment would establish an additional 4% state income tax on that portion of annual taxable income in excess of $1 million. This income level would be adjusted annually to reflect increases in the cost of living by the same method used for federal income-tax brackets. Revenues from this tax would be used, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature, only for public education, public colleges and universities, the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public transportation. The proposed amendment would apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

Petition as Filed

15-17  pdf format of 15-17