Okay, if you’re voting on Tuesday – and we hope you are – you’ll be asked four questions on the ballot and you’ll need to give an answer. If you’re like us, you might be a little confused about the wording of these questions and what your answer means. So we’re gonna try and break them down for you. Here we go:
Question 1: The Gas Tax
If you vote yes, this will eliminate the annual automatic adjustment of the gas tax based on the consumer price index. The argument for a yes vote believes there is not reason to link the gas tax to to inflation. They believe the legislature should vote on the gas tax every year and no tax should just automatically increase.
A no vote means the gas tax stays the same. The argument for the no vote is if we don’t have the money from the gas tax, we won’t have the money to fix roads and bridges.
Question 2: Expanding the Bottle Bill
A yes answer will extend the deposit law to include all nonalcoholic, non carbonated beverages like your Gatorade and raise the handling fees. Also, every five years the deposit amount will be adjusted based on the consumer price index but it will never fall below the 5 cent mark. The argument for a yes vote A YES vote equals more recycling, less trash and litter, and big savings for towns’ waste management costs. They believe it’s better for the environment.
A no would mean the current law would stay the same. The argument for no is Massachusetts should be a recycling leader, but Question 2 will keep us in the past. Ninety percent of households now have access to curbside and community recycling programs. Let’s focus on what works instead of expanding an outdated, ineffective, and inconvenient system. They believe that it costs too much, the system is outdated and if passed the legislature can raise your nickel deposit and additional fees every five years without your vote.
Question 3: Gambling
If you vote yes, this would stop the MA Gaming Commission from issuing licenses for casinos and other gambling establishments with table games and slot machines. This would also void licenses already issued. Gambling on live simulcast greenhouse races will also become illegal. The argument for voting yes is that gambling has no place in Massachusetts.
If you vote no, the current gambling laws stays the same. The argument for voting no is gambling is creating jobs and economic growth in Massachusetts.
Question 4: Employee Sick Time
A yes means workers would be able to earn and use a set amount of paid or unpaid sick time per year based on specific conditions like size of the company. The argument for a yes vote believes it will allow workers in Massachusetts to earn up to 40 hours of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health. Workers will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, and can use their sick time only after working for 90 days.
If you vote no, the current law stays the same. The argument for voting no believes that this would be unfair and costly to small businesses and taxpayers to require them to provide up to week of mandatory paid sick time and family leave to all employees including part-time workers.
Remember to vote on Tuesday!