Mass. Voters Reject Container, Gaming Ballot Measures

Massachusetts voters picked a new governor on Tuesday, but also voted on several ballot measures. Below are the results of the four ballot questions, with summaries based on information provided by the office of Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin. The margins listed are current as of press time.

Question 1: Eliminate Gas Tax Indexing

Question 1, which passed 53 percent to 47 percent, repealed a 2013 law requiring that the state’s gas tax be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation. The gas tax will remain at 24 cents a gallon unless the legislature votes to raise the tax.

Question 2: Expanding the Beverage Container Deposit Law

Question 2 was rejected 73.5 percent to 26.5 percent. The law would have used unclaimed container deposits to set up a Clean Environment Fund. It would also have required deposits on almost all non-alcoholic and non-carbonated drinks, including bottled water, sports drinks, and juices.


Question 3: Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming

Question 3 was defeated by a 60 percent to 40 percent tally. Work on the Springfield and Everett casinos and the Plainville slots parlor will continue as planned, and wagering on the simulcasting of live greyhound races will not be prohibited.

Question 4: Earned Sick Time for Employees

The measure passed 60 percent to 40 percent. It will allow Massachusetts workers to earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year if they work at a business with more than 11 employees. Workers will earn one hour of sick time for every thirty hours worked starting on July 1, 2015.

Local Races:

Democratic incumbents representing Cambridge, often unopposed, all held onto their seats. Katherine M. Clark and Michael E. Capuano ran unopposed for Massachusetts' 5th and 7th congressional districts, respectively. Tara E. DeCristoforo won the race for Register of the Probate for Middlesex county, Terrence Kennedy won the race for the Governor’s council, and Marian T. Ryan ran unopposed for District Attorney. Finally, state representatives David Rogers, Marjorie C. Decker, Timothy J. Toomey Jr., Jonathan Hecht, and Jay Livingstone were all re-elected, as were state senators Anthony Petruccelli, Patricia D. Jehlen, and Sal N. DiDomenico.