EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 19, 2014

Other ballot initiatives

Advocates of ballot initiatives turned in hundreds of thousands of signatures to city and town halls from the Berkshires to Boston yesterday. Signatures must be certified by Secretary of State William F. Galvin before any referenda can appear on the Nov. 4 ballot. Among the proposed questions:

- Repealing the state’s two-year-old casino gambling law. The referendum is still subject to a ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court in response to a move by Attorney General Martha Coakley to keep it off the ballot.

- Expanding the 5-cent bottle deposit to include containers for non-carbonated beverages such as water, tea and sports drinks.

- Mandating two weeks of paid sick leave for workers at businesses with more than 10 employees. Companies with fewer than 10 employees would have to provide two weeks of unpaid time per year

- Increasing the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 per hour by 2016. The House yesterday approved legislation to increase the minimum wage to $11 over three years and authorize a 31 percent increase in the hourly wage for tipped workers. The measure was previously approved by the Senate but must still be approved by Gov. Deval Patrick; otherwise the question goes to the voters.

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