Ballot question backers deliver more signatures
BOSTON (AP) — Supporters of a slew of proposed ballot questions say they’ve delivered more than enough signatures to guarantee a spot on the November ballot in Massachusetts.
Wednesday was the deadline for activists to file an additional 11,485 voter signatures with city and town clerks. Backers of the ballot questions already had to collect a first round of nearly 69,000 signatures.
Among those who say they’ve collected more than enough signatures are supporters of questions that would raise the minimum wage and expand the state’s bottle deposit law to include sports drinks and other beverages.
Both issues are currently being debated by lawmakers
The Massachusetts House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would raise the state’s $8 per hour minimum wage in three increments to $11 per hour by 2017. A routine procedural vote is needed in the Senate before the bill is sent to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick for his expected signature.
The group Raise Up Massachusetts says they’ll continue pushing their minimum wage ballot question until the bill before the Legislature becomes law.
Bottle bill activists say they’ll also keep pressing their ballot question unless lawmakers and Patrick step in and pass a law first.
Supporters of several other proposed ballot questions say they’ve also collected more than enough signatures to guarantee a place on the November ballot.
Those questions would repeal the state’s casino law, mandate earned sick time for Massachusetts workers, create nurse-patient ratios and require hospitals to be transparent about financial holdings.
Another question that could be headed for the November ballot seeks to repeal a new law linking future hikes in the gas tax to the rate of inflation.