BOSTON (WPRI) — When Massachusetts residents go to vote in the general election, they’ll be asked to approve or deny a series of ballot questions.
There will be four statewide measures on each ballot, along with any local referendums. (To find your local ballot information, visit the secretary of state’s website.)
Here’s what you need to know about the statewide ballot questions:
Question 1. Additional Tax on Income Over One Million Dollars
Voters are asked to approve or reject a 4% surtax on people whose annual income exceeds $1 million. The money would be allocated by the state legislature and could be spent on education and transportation.
Supporters say this would ensure the richest people in the state pay their fair share of taxes and in turn fund roads and schools.
Opponents say this would negatively impact tens of thousands of small business owners, large employers, and retirees.
A ‘yes’ vote would amend the state Constitution to impose an additional 4% tax on incomes over $1 million.
A ‘no’ vote would make no change in the state Constitution relative to income tax.
Question 2. Regulation of Dental Insurance
Voters are asked to approve or reject a requirement for dental insurers to spend at least 83% of their dollars on patient care and improvements, instead of administrative expenses such as salaries. A similar law is in effect for medical insurance.
Supporters say it ensures better coverage and value for patients instead of unreasonable corporate waste.
Opponents say it would increase costs for individuals and employers and could results in people losing access to dental care.
A ‘yes’ vote would make changes in the law relative to dental insurance regulations.
A ‘no’ vote would make no change in the law relative to dental insurance regulations.
Question 3. Expanded Availability of Licenses for the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages
Voters are asked to approve or reject the expansion of alcohol sales in Massachusetts. It would gradually increase the number of licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages a retail establishment can obtain, from 9–12 licenses in 2023 to 15 licenses in 2027 and 18 licenses in 2031.
It would require face-to-face sales; self checkout would not be allowed. It would modify fines to be based on an establishment’s overall gross profits, rather than just alcohol profits. It would also allow employees to accept out-of-state driver’s licenses as sole proof of a person’s identity and age.
Supporters say it expands convenience and benefits package stores, supermarkets and other sellers, and also promotes tourism by accepting out-of-state IDs.
Opponents say it imposes unfair penalties for businesses that sell more than just alcohol and decreases the number of full liquor licenses that retailers can own.
A ‘yes’ vote would increase the number of licenses a retailer could have for the sale of alcoholic beverages to be consumed off premises, limit the number of “all-alcoholic beverages” licenses that a retailer could acquire, restrict use of self-checkout, and require retailers to accept customers’ out-of-state identification.
A ‘no’ vote would make no change in the laws governing the retail sale of alcoholic beverages.
Question 4. Eligibility for Driver’s Licenses
Voters are asked to keep or repeal a law (set to go into effect July 1, 2023) that gives undocumented immigrants a pathway to obtaining a driver’s license. It allows Massachusetts residents, who don’t have proof of citizenship, to obtain a learner’s permit or driver’s license by showing other forms of identification, age and identity.
Supporters say it makes the roads safer by allowing undocumented immigrants to pass a road test and buy vehicle insurance. They also say it benefits undocumented families by allowing them to drive to school and work.
Opponents say the RMV does not have the bandwidth to verify documents from other countries, and there’s no way to confirm the person is who they say they are.
A ‘yes’ vote would keep the current law in place.
A ‘no’ vote would repeal this law.