With less than a week to go before the election I am going to be honest, I have not been paying attention the races nearly as much as I should. Since Ed Markey doesn't feel the need to explain why we should send him back to Washington, then why should I care about the public office elections? I will go in with a closed mind, just like everyone else and vote the way I normally do, However, I have been really researching and marinating the ballot questions on this year’s ballot. There are some serious questions which will impact everyday lives for everyone in the Commonwealth.
Question 1 - Eliminating the Gas Tax. Hopefully the answer to this question does not confuse voters. A Yes vote would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gas tax be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. A No vote would make no change in the laws regarding the gas tax. I could go down the taxation without representation, but I won't. The issue I have with this law is that once it gets the green light it will never change. Repealing the law does not prevent our elected leaders from raising the gas tax annually on their own. What repealing does do is hold them accountable, because nobody can hide behind the law. The argument that we will lose all this money for roads to be fixed. If you have driven on the Mass Pike Westbound you know that's hogwash. The money is there, don't be scared into voting no. This one is a slam dunk. 3D voting YES.
Question 2 - Expanding the bottle bill. Good Lord! What is this, 1985? I thought we were past all this with plastic/paper/glass stuff. The argument for is because we will see less trash and more recycling. I'm sorry, the people that leave plastic bottles in parks, in gutters and don't recycle properly are not paying attention to this law and I have a secret for you. They are going to continue to do that whether this law passes or not. Towns could see nearly $60 million increase on expanding their recycling programs. Don't you think they could use that money to fix roads? Another slam dunk. 3D voting NO.
Question 3 - Repealing Gambling Laws. I truly believed this was Karma working against the Legislature. The fact that this law was passed without getting the pulse of the state and now it goes to the people to repeal it. I was leaning towards yes just to show the legislature how inept they truly are. Then I had a moment of clarity. I have always been a proponent of gaming and the communities that were awarded gaming sites voted overwhelmingly to allow these facilities in their communities. So, in essence, the people have spoken. That's one viewpoint. What about the jobs and revenue in Massachusetts? Let's face it people, Springfield is Massachusetts version of Detroit and the MGM Grand, may give the city the boost it needs. Instead of going to Connecticut and Rhode Island, let’s keep that money here. Maybe we can fix some roads with it. Not as resounding as the previous two. 3D voting NO.
Question 4 - Earned Sick Time for Employees - Although I understand the sentiment and I do wish that all employers would step up and do this on their own, they shouldn't be forced to. This is government intrusion into a private industry. My core beliefs just can't accept that. Everyone wants to attack the Wal-Marts of the world but this will hurt the Regatta Delis of the world. We are supposed to help them not force them to close the doors. 3D voting NO.
That's my take on the four ballot questions and with less than a week left before voting day, if you feel so compelled, please try to change my mind. I've given you my reasons, give me yours. Maybe we can fix the roads.
If you don't take it from me, ask my wife