Six initiative petitions still vying for a spot on 2018 ballot

Issues include increased minimum wage and lower state sales tax

BOSTON (WWLP)—There are six initiative petitions that are still in the running for a spot on the 2018 ballot. You could get to decide if the state should pass legislation on issues including raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and lowering the state sales tax rate to five percent.

When the legislature returns from recess, lawmakers will be considering six initiative petitions that are still vying for a spot on the 2018 ballot. Those petitions include a minimum wage increase, paid family and medical leave, a citizens commission on constitutional amendments, patient limits for nurses, and a sales tax reduction and permanent tax free weekend.

“The sales tax is the most regressive tax on the books, and it disproportionately hurts those low income families and our seniors on fixed incomes,” said Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst.

Campaigns were required to submit 64,750 signatures to the Secretary of State in order to make it to this point, but they still have several more steps in the process.

Two ballot questions have already met the requirements to be placed on the ballot. One question is a constitutional amendment, known as the Fair Share Amendment or Millionaire’s Tax, that would impose a four percent surtax on incomes over one million dollars. The other question is a referendum that would repeal the state’s transgender anti-discrimination law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public places, such as restaurants and bathrooms.

The legislature has until the end of April to act on the petitions. Lawmakers can choose to pass the proposals, but those that don’t will have to gather another round of signatures before they can make it onto the ballot.