by David Rixham
Over 2.1 million Massachusetts natives voted on Tuesday to influence the future of the Commonwealth and the United States, but you weren’t one of them. Must have forgotten it was the first Tuesday in November in a midterm election or maybe you have yet to find the point in voting. In either case, here’s what Massachusetts decided in five important races and the impact it will have on our future:
Republican Charlie Baker (48 percent) defeats Democrat Martha Coakley (47 percent) for Massachusetts Governor.
Baker was one of the many Republicans that took a seat from the Democrats in the Senate this past Tuesday, in what is a major shift of power in Congress for the Republicans. Baker’s policies include not raising taxes, including reforming tax codes that harm workers families and small business. Baker believes in a right to affordable health care, but will be one of many Republicans opposed to ObamaCare and looking to repeal it.
Question 1: Regarding the Gas Tax. 53 percent vote yes. Gas Tax repealed.
In 2013, a law passed that would increase or decrease tax on gas based on inflation. The
Legislature would have no ability to vote on it allowing the Gas Tax to increase naturally.
By repealing the Gas Tax, Legislation has the right to vote and set the Gas Tax not based on inflation and, theoretically, could drive prices up in no relation to inflation, but instead personal feeling.
Question 2: Expanding Deposits on Bottles. 73 percent vote no. Deposits don’t expand.
By voting down the law, little has changed. Water bottles and non-carbonated beverages will not hold a 5 cent deposit in Massachusetts. However, the silver lining may be the avoidance of increased deposits for such beverages every five years due to inflation.
Question 3: Banning Casinos. 60 percent vote no. Casinos are allowed in Massachusetts.
A yes vote for question 3 allows projects like the Plainville Slots Parlor, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts to continue building casinos for Massachusetts. Members of the community where these casinos are being built are looking forward to the jobs that will be created, along with the revenue the state will gain: 25 percent from the casino, 49 percent from the parlor.
Question 4: Earned Sick Time. 59 percent vote yes. Businesses must offer earned sick time to employees who qualify.
The yes vote allows workers to earn one paid sick hour for every 30 hours worked. No longer will workers have to decide between going to work sick or missing work and not getting paid. However, the law does limit the amount of sick days an employee can take per year to reduce the likelihood of taking advantage of the law by faking an illness.
The voice of the people was heard Tuesday night and over the next 2 years until our next midterm and presidential election, we will see just how much these results have an impact on Massachusetts.