- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Ag Healey’s Office Receives 30 Initiative Petitions Proposing 28 Laws and 2 Constitutional Amendments
BOSTON — Meeting today’s 5 p.m. deadline, 21 groups filed 30 initiative petitions for proposed laws or constitutional amendments with Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office. Of the 30 petitions, 28 are proposed laws for the 2022 ballot and two are constitutional amendments for the 2024 ballot. The petitions are available on the AG’s website.
Today’s filing deadline starts the process for proposed laws and constitutional amendments to appear on the statewide election ballot. As provided in the state constitution, the AG’s Office will review whether the initiative petitions meet certain constitutional requirements to be filed with the Secretary of State. Certification decisions are expected to be released on September 1. For more information on the process, please visit the AG’s website.
The personal policy views of the Attorney General or any members of her office play no role in the certification decisions. AG Healey welcomes public input on whether a petition meets the constitutional requirements for certification, and those who are interested in submitting written comments can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following certification, proponents of proposed laws are required to gather and file the signatures of 80,239 registered voters by December 1. Once these signatures are collected, the proposal is sent to the state Legislature in January 2022 to enact before the first Wednesday in May 2022. If the Legislature fails to enact the proposal, proponents must gather an additional 13,374 signatures from registered voters by the first Wednesday in July 2022 to place the initiative on the November 2022 ballot.
The process for proposed constitutional amendments is different, requiring approval by at least 25 percent of two joint sessions of the Legislature before appearing on the November 2024 ballot.
The Massachusetts Constitution requires that proposed initiatives be in 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.