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Massachusetts Anti-Casino Ballot Question Gets Nixed by State AG

A citizens’ anti-gambling effort has been shot down by the State’s Attorney General

While the state of Massachusetts is gearing up for rapid expansion of gambling in the state, not everyone has been excited about the move. This is exactly why some anti-gambling activists there have produced a petition so that you can force a vote that is statewide whether or not the casino jobs could be able to maneuver ahead.

Those who are against the brand new casinos were able to gather enough signatures to send the ballot question forward to the lawyer general’s office. But regrettably for them, the state solicitor however a stop to the move, saying that the ballot question wouldn’t be legal underneath the state’s ballot initiative process.

Constitutional Provisions Preclude Ballot Question

The ballot initiative process is covered by Article 48 under the current state Constitution. That article not only describes the process for getting a relevant concern on the ballot, but also establishes what can and can’t be included in such questions. One of the rules for proposals claims that they cannot affect an entity’s ‘right to get payment for personal property appropriated to public use’.

In accordance with state solicitor Peter Sacks, in the event that question were to be approved by the public, thus closing the casino deals immediately, it could take the casino developers’ contract rights away without any compensation. It would also ‘impair the contracts that are implied between the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and those designers, who have already paid millions in application fees to your state. Read more »