Vox Populi -- For Better or Worse
Sixteen initiative petitions -- some for laws and some for constitutional amendments -- were filed by yesterday's 5pm deadline. You can see the fill list and view the actual language of each submission by clicking here for the Attorney General's website. Isn't this web stuff just amazing or what.
Lots of issues -- gay marriage, the war in Iraq, dogs (a perennial favorite), selling wine in convenience stories, personal care attendants, and more. MassACT, the health care initiative committee, filed four versions of a health access ballot question -- each with minor differences. Version A is the comprehensive version if you want to look at just one of them.
Next steps -- the Attorney General decides by late August/early September which questions are permissable under the requirements of the Massachusetts Constitution. The Secretary of State makes petitions available in mid-September. Groups then have until mid-November to collect at least 65,000+ signatures of registered voters.
Back in 2002, I wrote a lengthy piece for Commonwealth Magazine on the history of initiative and referendum in Massachusetts. Found out a lot of fascinating history. If you would like to read that piece, click here.