WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Nearly 20 groups filed more than two dozen petitions for the 2018 and 2020 ballots on Wednesday, the deadline to file such petitions for next year’s ballot.
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office told 22News that there are 26 proposed laws that could end up on the 2018 ballot, and two constitutional amendments that could be on the 2020 ballot.
Activists have pushed for a range of issues, from ending tolling on Massachusetts highways to requesting presidential candidates disclose their tax returns. An activist who was only 16 has petitioned for a raise in the minimum wage.
State Rep. Jim Lyons (R-Andover) filed a petition for a constitutional amendment earlier this summer that would place the decision to fund abortions in the hands of the Legislature.
Other petitions would reduce the euthanizing of homeless animals, requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, and imposing a “millionaire’s tax” on the state’s highest earners.
In order to get a question on the ballot, activists will ultimately have to collect 75,000 signatures before June of next year. At this point in the process, however, they only had to collect signatures from 10 registered voters by 5:00 Wednesday to be considered.
The next step is for Attorney General Maura Healey to decide whether the petitions meet constitutional requirements. If they do, petitioners have to gather nearly 65,000 signatures by December 6.
If those proposals that succeed do not get enacted by lawmakers by May 2, 2018, petitioners have to get nearly 11,000 more signatures in order to make it on the ballot.