Governor Charlie Baker’s signature is all that’s needed to green-light the suspension of the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16. The Legislature this week passed the sales tax holiday bill, which has become an annual event in recent years.
Initiative petition sponsors have until Wednesday to file the language of their proposed ballot laws along with signatures from 10 sponsors of their measures if they wish to be in the running for a slot on the November 2016 ballot. It’s the first in a series of deadlines that ballot campaigns must meet if they wish to put proposals before voters. Activists have been talking up measures to legalize marijuana, authorize more charter schools, end the state’s participation in Common Core education standards, tax millionaires at a higher rate and overhaul the public records laws. After Thursday, Attorney General Maura Healey faces the next deadline in the process. By Sept. 2, Healey must decide whether the proposals meet constitutional requirements for ballot questions. Sponsors of questions that clear that hurdle then face a two-step signature-gathering requirement, with 64,750 required in the first round and another 10,792 in the second round. If the Legislature hasn’t approved a law that satisfies ballot activists by next July, they can proceed to the ballot if they’ve met the requirements.
For Henry Epp’s conversation with State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy about the week ahead on Beacon Hill, click the audio player above.
Correction: an earlier version of this story stated the ballot petition deadline is this Thursday. The deadline is Wednesday.