The Massachusetts Joint Election Laws Committee will hear HB 1830 and SB 13 on March 23, Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m. These are identical bills to increase the number of signatures for a statewide initiative from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 7% of the last gubernatorial vote. Currently, the Massachusetts statewide initiative process to change ordinary laws requires fewer signatures (as a percentage of the state’s population) than any other state.
The Massachusetts initiative process was used successfully in 1990 to qualify an initiative that cut the number of signatures for statewide minor party and independent candidates from approximately 50,000 signatures, to 10,000 signatures. Probably that measure could never have qualified for the ballot if Massachusetts had had a 7% requirement for initiatives. Thanks to Carla Howell for this news.