Alfies Electoral Playbook :2014 MA Ballot Questions

The Bay State has ballot questions that are generated via the will of the People. Actually its basically special interest groups do the leg work and the voters get to say yes or no. In 2014 there are four ballot questions and here is how I am voting on them…

Question 1 Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing

Presently the Commonwealth links automatic gas tax increases to the CPI. The minimum that the MA State gas tax can adjust to is 21.5 cents per gallon. A YES would essentially require the Legislature to pass annual gas taxes. Opponents to this ballot question stoke fears of the states infrastructure further deteriorating to unsafe levels secondary funding shortfalls.

Alfie is voting YES on 1

I think the Legislature should have to publicly vote on tax increases and to make assurances that the money is spent on what it should be. You see these two areas is where our current system fails us. The increases happen automatically and the Legislature has hijacked the roads funds for other line items.

I vote YES on 1 fully accepting that the Legislature could easily vote a rise that skyrockets us from 29th highest to the number one position. If that happened its ok with me since I want the money to go where it is supposed to.

Question 2 Expanding the Bottle Bill

Since Alfie wants the bottle bill,the 5¢ deposit on beverage bottles to be repealed, he certainly isn’t going to vote to expand it. I am a strong proponent for recycling and since a majority of the states population enjoys curbside recycling the old school pay a nickel trudge out and try to get the nickel back thing is outdated. It also represents run away government. The unclaimed deposits go into the states coffers the general fund specifically and under lame pre and post 9/11 excuses the municipalities do a terrible job expanding easy public space recycling.

Alfie is voting NO on 2

I vote NO on 2 but won’t stop there. I will be involved in repealing the existing bottle bill and will be charging forth on the public space recycling initiative I’ve been working on. Ironically if what I want were to come true the consumer would still be paying 5¢ per bottle its just that in my world that nickel goes directly to a fund that supports municipal based recycling systems.

Question 3 Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming

Massachusetts recently joined the Moron Nation that looked to gaming as a means to make money. Pie eyed with visions of jobs and tax revenue the state authorized a number of full scale casinos and slots parlors. The individual communities tripped over themselves to win one of the limited bids. Private sector gaming industry humps flooded the Bay State and communities started sniping each other in tawdry ways.

2014 finds a ballot question that will reverse all that and eliminate the gaming expansion. There has already been significant monies spent on the hoped for gaming sites including sites where online racing* has been in existence for some time. (*please note a previous ballot question outlawed live greyhound racing in the state)

Alfie is voting YES on 3

I am voting YES for reasons not fully attached to either sides superficial reasonings. When you dig deeper you find that gaming is by no means a panacea. It is a sketchy world that has costs that rise exponentially away from the tables. The promised jobs are temporary (construction) or transient (gaming) and whatever gains onsite you get you surely loose in the hosting and surrounding communities.Tax revenues are offset by legal and social cost impacts. I would stip that gaming is actually a net loser on the economy.

Question 4 Earned Sick Time

Question 4 would mandate a system of earned sick time for all employees of employers with 11+ employees. The system contradicts major points of existing labor law in the area of what known as “comp time”. Q4 doesn’t call it that of course and understandably so since Q4 seems on the surface to be aimed primarily at the jobs at lower end of the economy. Its opponents rightly point out there is a definite uptick in book cooking required to be compliant with what will be a heavily regulated realm of running a business.

Todays society sadly requires the jobs that pay poorly and have little if any benefits. These folks really can’t afford to be sick or have a sick household member force them to face the days pay vs health conundrum.

Alfie is voting YES on 4

Although I am a rabid capitalist and believe this bills proponents are pert near close to being commie scumbags I think we need to take some bold steps on the jobs fronts. Low end work is always going to be with us and some of what hovers at that end floats up. Thats a wake up call to my fellow right wing types. Our economy needs sick time,vacation pay,job sharing,portable benefits and many more things. This can be a bipartisan thing.

Just the recent red meat rhetoric headlines alone supports a YES on 4 vote. You want a sick person coming to your workplace or your kids school? The headline hysteria says NO, Question 4 embraces the spirit of making that the sound social decision often faced in a democracy.

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2 Comments

  1. Rutherford says:

    I’m not moved one way or the other on the first 3 props but on question 4 I think you’ve nailed it quite nicely. As a current occupant of one of those low-end jobs, I have worked many a day feeling like crap when I really should have called in sick — but I needed the money. This happened most recently just this Friday and I’m paying the price this weekend with the feeling of sandpaper and knives in my throat.

  2. Alfie says:

    I did my civic duty albeit leaving much of the ballot blank in the spirit of “why are these even on the ballot,or even positions”?
    Governor,a state rep and the ballot questions and I was out of there…..

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