For Immediate Release - August 03, 2011

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Receives 31 Initiative Petitions Proposing 21 Laws and One Constitutional Amendment

Certification Decisions Due on September 7

BOSTON - Meeting today's 5:00 p.m. deadline, 22 groups have filed 31 petitions for proposed laws or constitutional amendments with Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office. Of the 31 petitions, 21 were proposed laws for the 2012 ballot and one constitutional amendment was filed for the 2014 ballot. Some initiative petition sponsors submitted more than one version of a petition on the same topic.

A list of all the petitions and their contact persons is available on the Office's website, http://www.mass.gov/ago/ballotquestions, under "Current Petitions Filed."

Today's filing deadline is only the start of the process to get the proposed laws on the ballot for the 2012 statewide election. According to state law, the Attorney General will review whether the initiative petitions meet certain constitutional requirements and can be certified to file with the Secretary of State. The deadline for certification is Wednesday September 7. The personal policy views of the Attorney General or any members of her office play no role in the certification decisions. AG Coakley welcomes public input on whether a petition may be legally certified.

Following certification, proponents are required to gather and file the signatures of 68,911 registered voters by December 7, 2011. Once the requisite signatures are obtained, the proposal is sent to the state Legislature to enact before the first Wednesday in May 2012. If the Legislature fails to enact the proposal, its proponents must gather another 11,485 signatures from registered voters by early July 2012 to place the initiative on the 2012 ballot.

The process for proposed constitutional amendments is different, requiring approval by at least 25 percent of the Legislature in 2012 and then again in 2013-2014 before appearing on the November 2014 ballot.

The Massachusetts Constitution requires that proposed initiatives be in the proper form for submission to voters, not be substantially the same as any measure on the ballot in either of the two preceding statewide elections, contain only subjects that are related or mutually dependent, and not involve a narrow set of subjects that are specifically excluded from the ballot initiative process by the state Constitution.

For example, a petition cannot be approved if it relates to religion, religious practices or religious institutions; the powers, creation or abolition of the courts; the appointment, compensation or tenure of judges; a specific appropriation of funds from the state treasury; or if it infringes on other protected constitutional rights, such as trial by jury, freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

Voters who take issue with the Attorney General's certification decisions can ask the Supreme Judicial Court for a review.

For last year's election, 30 initiative petitions were submitted, with three making it to the ballot. For the 2008 election, 13 initiative petitions were submitted, with three making it to the ballot. For the 2006 election, 16 initiative petitions were submitted, with three making it to the ballot. Thirteen initiative petitions were submitted, with none making it to the ballot for the 2004 election. For the 2002 election, 27 initiative petitions were submitted, with only two making it to the ballot. In 2000, six of 33 initiative petitions submitted made it to the ballot. In 1998, two of 26 petitions submitted made it to the ballot; only one of 26 proposed ballot initiatives went before voters in 1996; and, in 1994, seven of 42 initiatives submitted appeared on the ballot.

Initiative Petitions Filed with the Attorney General by the August 3, 2011 Deadline



Petition No.

Petition Name

Sponsors' Contact Person

11-01

Initiative Petition for the Right to Cancel an Auto Sale

Barbara Taylor

508-595-0033

11-02

Initiative Petition Relative to M.G.L. c. 209A

Joseph Anthony Ureneck

857-350-0575

11-03

Petition for a Constitutional Amendment Relative to the Provision of Health Insurance

James Fleming

413-788-3800

11-04

An Initiative Petition To Amend The Current Do Not Call List Law To Regulate Certain Charitable Solicitations (Version A)

Pearl D. Cohen

508-807-0356

11-05

An Initiative Petition To Amend The Current Do Not Call List Law To Regulate Certain Charitable Solicitations (Version B)

Pearl D. Cohen

508-807-0356

11-06

An Initiative Petition To Amend The Current Do Not Call List Law To Regulate Certain Charitable Solicitations (Version C)

Pearl D. Cohen

508-807-0356

11-07

An Initiative Petition To Amend The Current Do Not Call List Law To Regulate Certain Charitable Solicitations (Version D)

Pearl D. Cohen

508-807-0356

11-08

An Initiative Petition To Amend The Current Do Not Call List Law To Regulate Certain Charitable Solicitations (Version E)

Pearl D. Cohen

508-807-0356

11-09

An Initiative Petition To Amend The Current Do Not Call List Law To Regulate Certain Charitable Solicitations (Version F)

Pearl D. Cohen

508-807-0356

11-10

A Petition for a Law Limiting the Amount by which Water and Sewer Rates May be Raised

Heidi Verougstraete

678-848-2848

11-11

An Initiative Petition for a Law for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana

Lawrence B. Rasky , Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications

617-443-9933

11-12

An Initiative Petition for an Act Relative to Death with Dignity

Michael Clarke

617-858-6567

11-13

Initiative Petition for a Law to Create a Citizens' 9/11 Investigation Commission

Rich McCampbell

617-696-7606

11-14

Initiative Petition for An Act to Protect Motor Vehicle Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Motor Vehicles (Version A1)

Arthur W. Kinsman

617-248-9772

11-15

Initiative Petition for An Act to Protect Motor Vehicle Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Motor Vehicles (Version B1)

Arthur W. Kinsman

617-248-9772

11-16

Initiative Petition for An Act to Protect Motor Vehicle Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Motor Vehicles (Version C1)

Arthur W. Kinsman

617-248-9772

11-17

Initiative Petition for An Act to Protect Motor Vehicle Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Motor Vehicles (Version D1)

Arthur W. Kinsman

617-248-9772

11-18

An Initiative Petition for An Act Banning the Use of Certain Socio-Economic Factors for Insurance Underwriting and Rating of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance

Francis A. Mancini

617-285-6083

11-19

The Whale Safe Fishing Act

Richard Maximus Strahan

617-233-2084

11-20

An Initiative Petition for An Act Promoting Excellence in Public Schools

Louis A. Rizoli, Esq.

617-775-0528

11-21

An Initiative Petition for An Act Relative to the Presentation of Identification to Vote

Olivier Kozlowski

508-261-9254

11-22

Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Updating the Bottle Bill

Janet Domenitz

617-292-4800

11-23

An Initiative Petition to Repeal the Individual Mandate in the Act Providing Access To Affordable, Quality Health Care

Anne Fox

781-449-1774

11-24

Initiative Petition for an Amendment to a Law Relative Comprehensive Permit and Regional Planning

John V. Belskis

781-641-1441

11-25

An Act to Increase Consumer Convenience and Choice by Permitting Food Stores to Sell Wine

Cynthia A. Eid

617-242-0304

11-26

An Act to Establish Limited Beer and Wine Licenses for Grocery Stores and Supermarkets, Subject to Local Control

Cynthia A. Eid

617-242-0304

11-27

An Initiative Petition for a Law Permitting Casino Gaming in Three Locations in the Commonwealth

David Nunes

617-592-0654

11-28

[Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Electricity Rates and the Green Communities Act]

Audra Parker

508-775-9767

11-29

An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to M.G.L. 90, Section 22

John Toby Knudsen

617-233-4002

11-30

An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to M.G.L. 209A

John Toby Knudsen

617-233-4002

11-31

An Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to M.G.L. 272-S-99

John Toby Knudsen

617-233-4002