BOSTON (WWLP) – After the primary, we learned who will be on our November ballot, but now we know what questions will also be before us.
To get a ballot initiative to advance, groups must gather 40,120 certified signatures, with no more than 10,030 signatures from one county. This year, voters will see four questions on their ballots.
“It’s an opportunity for voters to directly make laws, as opposed to simply letting the legislature make it, and basically it says that the people ultimately have the right to change what the legislature did or to make laws when the legislature refuses to do so,” said Secretary of State Bill Galvin.
Question 1 is called the Fairshare Amendment by some, and others call it a tax hike.
Currently, all income is taxed at 5%. A yes vote on this ballot initiative would create a surtax of 4% on incomes over 1 million dollars. The funding gathered from this question would go to education and transportation.
Question 2 deals with dental insurance. A yes vote would require dental insurers to spend at least 83% of their dollars on “dental expenses and quality improvements,” instead of administrative expenses.
Anyone posting medical loss ratios less than 83% would have to refund excess premiums.
Liquor licenses are the topic of Question 3. A yes vote would double the amount of allowable licenses a retailer can hold to 18 by 2031, but also reduce the cap on licenses from nine to seven. The cap of 18 covers both licenses for all alcoholic beverages and for just beer and wine.
It would also prohibit in-store automated checkout sales of alcohol, change how fines are calculated, and add out-of-state licenses to the list of approved ID’s.
The only referendum ballot question is number 4. A no vote on four will repeal the ability for undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. A yes vote will keep the law in place.
Voters will be receiving a voter guide booklet in the mail starting this week. Ballot question number 4 is not listed in the book because printing was already completed by the time question four made it onto the ballot.