Backers of potential 2024 ballot questions are running toward their next hurdle: 74,574 signatures.
Initiative petition supporters need to get those autographs in to local officials for certification by Nov. 22 (the day before Thanksgiving), ahead of a December deadline to turn the signature pages over to the state Elections Division.
Plenty of high-profile questions grabbing readers’ attention since AG Campbell approved them to move forward to this stage, like campaigns to do away with the MCAS test, open the Legislature’s books to Auditor DiZoglio’s inspection, decriminalize psychedelics, and remove a statewide ban on rent control.
Out of the dozens of petitions originally filed, few are likely to make it all the way to ballots next fall. But let’s take a look at some of the ones that Campbell gave the green light that have gotten a bit less space in the conversation.
Drawing here from the AG’s summaries of the proposals:
- Questions 23-05 and 23-11: Different specifics, same end result, allowing folks to register to vote, and cast a ballot, on the same visit to their polling place on Election Day
- Question 23-12: Would step up the minimum wage for tipped workers each year, ultimately matching the state minimum wage in 2029
- Question 23-15: Voters would be able to petition for a recall election for Constitutional officers from the governor on down, plus state legislators and county officials. (Voters wouldn’t be able to start up a recall drive until after the official has been in office for six months)
- Question 23-33: Public schools would be required to teach epidemiology to K-12 students, including “the study of disease patterns and risk factors, the causes and origins of diseases, and strategies and measures aimed at preventing the spread of diseases, including vaccination and hygiene practices”
- Question 23-37: Would take some of the Legislature’s internal rule-setting ability out of elected officials’ hands — carving into the Constitution set parameters around committee structures, requiring elections of the House speaker and Senate president to be done by secret ballot, and stipulating that all lawmakers earn the same paycheck “regardless of seniority or position”
- Question 23-41: “Indigenous Peoples Day” would replace the state’s recognition of Columbus Day
Should any of these sleeper ballot questions prevail next fall, it would constitute a signature victory for the organizers. For now, those folks will settle for the signatures — a lot of them.
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