By Bob Katzen

Attorney General Andrea Campbell has determined that 34 out of the 38 possible 2024 ballot question

that propose new laws have met the requirements outlined in the Massachusetts constitution and are authorized to proceed to the next step in the process to get their proposed law on the ballot in November 2024. Petitioners often file multiple versions of a question for review in hopes of getting at least one certified by the attorney general’s office. The actual number of subjects addressed is only 25.

Proposals include ones to change the rights and benefits for on-demand drivers like Uber and Lyft; require voters to show an ID in order to vote; allow cities and towns the right to impose rent control, a practice which voters banned nearly 30 years ago on a 1994 ballot question; permit the auditor’s office to audit the Legislature; remove the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam as a high school graduation requirement and instead require students to complete coursework certified by the student’s district as demonstrating mastery of the competencies contained in the state academic standards in mathematics, science and technology and English; and exempt from the state’s 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax any sale of gas for drivers at any time when the retail price for regular gas in Massachusetts is $3 or more per gallon;

Othere certified proposals include ones to provide tax credits and point-of sale rebates on the purchase of electric vehicles, conversion of gas powered vehicles to electric vehicles and purchase and installation of eligible home improvement systems including high efficiency heat pumps, solar power systems and energy storage systems; permit eligible citizens to register to vote at a polling place on Election Day in person, at a local registrar’s office before noon on the Friday before the election or by mail postmarked on or before the Friday before the election; increase over five years the minimum wage for tipped workers to the same as the general minimum wage; legalize some psychedelic substances including psilocybin and psilocyn found in mushrooms; replace “Columbus Day” as a state holiday by establishing in its place a new holiday — Indigenous Peoples Day; require that public school students in grades K-12 receive instruction in public health and epidemiology including the causes and origins of diseases and strategies aimed at preventing the spread of diseases, including vaccination and hygiene practices. The new educational standards would replace the current requirement that K-12 students receive instruction on the issues of nutrition and exercise.

The next step is for supporters to gather 74,574 signatures and file them with local officials by Nov. 22 and then with the secretary of state’s office by Dec. 6. The proposal would then be sent to the Legislature and if not approved by the Legislature by May 1, 2024, proponents must gather another 12,429 signatures and file them with local officials by June 19, 2024, and then the secretary of state’s office by July 3, 2024, in order for the question to appear on the November 2024 ballot.

Proposed laws that were not certified include creating a new voting system under which candidates on the ballot are ranked by voters in order of their preference. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate that received the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated. The second choice of the voters who supported the eliminated candidate now becomes their first choice and is added to the totals of the remaining candidates. The same process is repeated, if necessary, until a candidate is the first choice of a majority of voters.

Other petitions that were not certified include limiting to $5,000 the amount of money that can be donated to a Super PAC; requiring Internet service providers, manufacturers of mobile phones and other wireless devices, carriers, personal wireless services, and wireless facilities to limit the emission of non-ionizing radiation that cannot directly remove electrons from atoms or molecules, to as low or safe as reasonably achievable; directing the Legislature to adopt California’s pending Age Appropriate Design Code bill, consider improvements to privacy laws and minimize on-line data collection in public primary and secondary schools and public colleges.

See the complete list of proposed ballot questions and their fate at

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