BOSTON (State House New Service) – Measures that would confirm the Legislature is subject to examination by the state auditor’s office, allow for-hire drivers on platforms like Uber and Lyft to unionize, and decriminalize psychedelic substances are in the mix to potentially go before voters next year.
The suite of policy decisions that could be decided by ballot questions in 2024 or constitutional amendments in 2026 is becoming clearer Wednesday ahead of a 5 p.m. deadline for campaigns to file their proposals with the attorney general’s office. Attorney General Andrea Campbell’s office already posted 23 questions it received so far, including several duplicates, and backers of several other major initiative petitions announced their own plans this morning.
Auditor Diana DiZoglio is working with a group of former elected officials and Beacon Hill-adjacent figures to file a ballot question that would make explicit in state law the auditor’s ability to audit the House and Senate. DiZoglio, a former representative and senator, has been pushing for months to audit her former employers, but top Democrats have resisted, arguing she does not have that authority and that doing so would violate the “separation of powers” required by the Constitution.
DiZoglio told the News Service she backed the initiative petition as one of its 10 original signatories and views it as another option to secure compliance alongside her ongoing attempt to initiate legal action against the Legislature.
SEIU Local 32BJ joined with drivers for Uber and Lyft on a proposed ballot question that would allow drivers on app-based ride platforms to unionize, pitching it as a way to counter a “broken dynamic” the workers face. In what would be a confusing situation for voters, their campaign could face off against one backed by the companies themselves.
An industry-backed coalition on Wednesday rolled out its own ballot question defining drivers as independent contractors in state law while giving them some new benefits, launching a second pass after a similar measure got tossed by the courts last year.
A group dubbing itself “Massachusetts for Mental Health Options” also signaled plans to file two versions of an initiative petition that would effectively legalize “plant-based psychedelic substances” such as psilocybin mushrooms.