Several campaigns still vying for spot on 2018 ballot

Campaigns required to submit 64,750 voter signatures to qualify for next step

BOSTON (WWLP)—A state sales tax reduction and a $15 minimum wage are two of several initiative petitions still in the running to gain a spot on the 2018 ballot.

The Attorney General certified 21 initiative petitions back in September, but campaigns were required to have collected 64,750 voter signatures by Wednesday.

These are the petitions still in the running for a spot on the 2018 ballot:

  • state sales tax reduction
  • hospital patient limits for nurses
  • citizens commission for constitutional amendments
  • paid family and medical leave
  • minimum wage increase

The minimum wage question would increase the state’s minimum wage from $11 per hour to $15 per hour by 2022. Some businesses are supporting the move.

“A really good way to increase consumer spending is to put more money in the pockets of low wage workers,” Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Communications Director Bob Keener said.

Simply submitting signatures does not secure a spot on the ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office will count and verify those signatures before campaigns can move on to the next step in the process.

Several initiative petitions did not make the signature deadline including one that would require presidential candidates to publicly disclose six years of their tax returns in order to appear on the Massachusetts ballot. But the Legislature is considering a similar proposal that would require 5 years of publicly released tax returns.

“I think that’s a generous amount of time, but also allows for the critical component of transparency,” State Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) said.

If campaigns gathered the required certified signatures, their petitions will be sent to the Legislature for review in January.

A proposal to raise state income taxes on Massachusetts’ millionaires and a constitutional amendment to repeal a transgender accommodation law have already secured spots on the ballot.