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Four questions on November ballot

Rominda deBarros | 7/28/2014, 5:59 p.m. | Updated on 7/28/2014, 6 p.m.

This year four questions will appear on the November ballot. In the order they will appear on the ballot: a question to eliminate gas indexing, an expansion on the Beverage Container Bottle Law, an expansion on prohibitions on gaming and earned sick time for employees.

If nothing else, the ballot questions may help boost voter turnout in a year when four out of five of the state’s constitutional offices are vacant.

“This year’s ballot questions are significant because they support the turn-out rate for our communities of color,” said Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, Executive Director of MassVote. “People who may not be so excited about the candidates have at least the ballot questions to look forwards to.”

The following are short summaries of the ballot questions.

Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing

This proposed law would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gasoline tax, be adjusted every year by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index over the preceding year, but not be adjusted below 21.5 cents per gallon.

A YES VOTE would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gas tax be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

A NO VOTE would make no changes to the current law.

Expanding the Beverage Container Bottle Law

This proposed law would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law, known as the Bottle Bill, to require deposits on containers for all non-alcoholic non-carbonated drinks in liquid form intended for human consumption. The proposed law would take effect on April 22, 2015.

A YES VOTE would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law with certain exceptions, increase the associated handling fees, and make other changes to the law.

A NO VOTE would make no changes to the current law.

Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming

This proposed law would prohibit the Massachusetts Gaming Commission from issuing any license for a casino or other gaming establishments, prohibit any such casino or slots gaming under any such licenses issued by the Commission before the proposed law took effect and prohibit wagering on the simulcasting of live greyhound races.

A YES VOTE would prohibit casinos, any gaming establishment with slot machines, and wagering on simulcast greyhound races.

A NO VOTE would make no changes to the current law.

Earned Sick Time for Employees

This proposed law would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions.

Conditions for example include: employees working for larger employers (having eleven or more employees) could earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, while employees working for smaller employers could earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year. The proposed law would take effect on July 1, 2015

A YES VOTE would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions.

A NO VOTE would make no changes to the current law.