For Immediate Release - August 07, 2013

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office Receives 33 Initiative Petitions Proposing 18 Laws and Four Constitutional Amendments

Certification Decisions Due on September 4

BOSTON – Meeting today’s 5:00 p.m. deadline, 16 groups have filed 33 petitions for proposed laws or constitutional amendments with Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office. Of the 33 petitions, 29 were proposed laws for the 2014 ballot and four constitutional amendments were filed for the 2016 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 2014 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 4. 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 4, 2013. Once the requisite signatures are obtained, the proposal is sent to the state Legislature to enact before the first Wednesday in May 2014. If the Legislature fails to enact the proposal, its proponents must gather another 11,485 signatures from registered voters by early July 2014 to place the initiative on the 2014 ballot.

The process for proposed constitutional amendments is different, requiring approval by at least 25 percent of the Legislature in 2014 and then again in 2015-2016 before appearing on the November 2016 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 to each other or mutually dependent, and not involve a narrow set of subjects that are specifically excluded from the ballot initiative process by the Massachusetts 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 the 2012 election, 31 initiative petitions were submitted, with three making it to the ballot. For the 2010 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 7, 2013 Deadline

 

Petition No.

Petition Name

Sponsors’ Contact Person

13-01

Constitutional Amendment to Declare that “Corporations are not people, money is not speech”

Nicholas J. Bokron

781-593-3042

13-02

Constitutional Amendment Relative to the Provision of Health Insurance

Jim Fleming

413-788-3800

13-03

Patient Safety Act

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-04

Patient Safety Act

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-05

Patient Safety Act

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-06

Patient Safety Act

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-07

Law Relative to Earned Sick Time

Debra Ann Fastino, 508-678-5497

13-08

Law Raising the Minimum Wage

Lewis Finfer, 617-822-1499

13-09

Law to Prohibit Casino Gambling

John F. Ribeiro, 617-981-4177

13-10

Law Relative to the Sales Tax

Owen George Becker, 978-376-8638

13-11

Massachusetts New Hire Incentive

Owen George Becker, 978-376-8638

13-12

Constitutional Amendment Extending the People’s Right of Self-Government

Paul Anderson, 617-273-0832

13-13

Updating the Bottle Bill

Janet Domenitz, 617-292-4800

13-14

Updating the Bottle Bill

Janet Domenitz, 617-292-4800

13-15

Repeal of 2013 Gas Tax Indexing

Steven W. Aylward, 978-323-6560

13-16

Genetically Modified Food Right to Know Act

Liam Madden, 617-922-5546

13-17

Constitutional Amendment Relative to the Massachusetts National Guard

Joe Ureneck, 857-350-0575

13-18

Law Relative to Shared Parenting

Joe Ureneck, 857-350-0575

13-19

Law Relative to Abuse Prevention

Joe Ureneck, 857-350-0575

13-20

Whale Safe Fishing Act

Richard Maximus Strahan, maxxstrahan@gmail.com

13-21

Act to Repeal 2013 Sales Tax on Computer and Software Technology Services

Michael Widmer, 617-720-1000

Christopher R. Anderson, 781-890-6482

13-22

Act to Repeal 2013 Sales Tax on Computer and Software Technology Services

Michael Widmer, 617-720-1000

Christopher R. Anderson, 781-890-6482

13-23

Act to Repeal 2013 Sales Tax on Computer and Software Technology Services

Michael Widmer, 617-720-1000

Christopher R. Anderson, 781-890-6482

13-24

Act to Repeal 2013 Sales Tax on Computer and Software Technology Services

Michael Widmer, 617-720-1000

Christopher R. Anderson, 781-890-6482

13-25

The Massachusetts Family Sunshine Protection Act

James M. Luscatoff, 978-475-2502

13-26

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-27

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-28

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins and CEO Compensation

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-29

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins and CEO Compensation

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-30

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins Through Greater Financial Transparency

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-31

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins Through Greater Financial Transparency

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-32

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins and CEO Compensation Through Greater Financial Transparency

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

13-33

An Act to Limit Excessive Hospital Operating Margins and CEO Compensation Through Greater Financial Transparency

Stephanie Sanchez, 781-830-5752

 

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