CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Twenty-eight of 33 proposals filed by activist groups, individuals and state representatives will move a step closer to being on the ballot in 2014. But the real test will be whether those 28 petitions have the grassroots support to be worthy of a vote.
“It's too much. I think if there were two or three it would be great. When they get up to 5, 10, 15, I think it's ridiculous,” said Francis Soule of Springfield.
The petitions cover 14 topics, from a minimum wage tax hike, to creating a nurse-patient ratio, and reducing the state sales tax.
It's not unusual for this many to get initial approval; in 2011, 23 petitions were certified.. but only 3 questions received enough signatures to make the 2012 ballot.
“It certainly will be whittled down to a workable number. At this point in time these are thoughts these groups have, state reps have, individuals have. They have to get the signatures and if they do they'll be on the ballot,” said Agawam Town Clerk Richard Theroux.
No matter how many of the 28 petitions become ballot questions in 2014, a Chicopee man told 22News it's voters' job to do the research and make an educated decision.
“We should be abreast of all the issues that are pertinent to the public. 1229 So when they go to vote, which is their right and they should, they have the knowledge to finish their ballot,” said Leonard Chartier from Chicopee.
Supporters must now collect 69,000 voter signatures to make these certified petitions become official ballot questions.
The five petitions that did not meet the constitutional requirement included repealing the state's casino gambling law and requiring labels on genetically-modified foods.