17 ballot initiative petitions certified by AG’s office


(File: Nexstar)

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office has certified 17 ballot initiative petitions, including 16 proposed laws and one proposed constitutional amendment, allowing them to move forward in the process to become law.

You can find a list of all the ballot initiatives that were certified and denied on the AG’s website.

Some of the ballot petitions include alcohol retail reform, voter identification, consumer fireworks, and hate crimes. Seventeen proposals have met the requirements outlined in Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution and thirteen of the petitions were denied.

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.

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.

Proponents of the proposed laws must now gather and file the signatures of 80,239 registered voters by Dec. 1, 2021. Once these signatures are collected, the proposal will be sent to the state Legislature to enact before May 4, 2022. If the Legislature fails to enact a proposal, proponents must gather 13,374 additional signatures from registered voters by July 6, 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.

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