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'Right To Repair,' Abortion Funding Among 12 Certified Mass. Ballot Initiative Petitions

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
State House News Service
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey certified 12 proposed initiative petitions on Wednesday, and rejected four others on legal grounds.

The certification advances proposals for new laws and constitutional amendments to the next phase.

Healey certified both petitions that sought constitutional amendments. One would add a line to the state constitution emphasizing that public funding of abortion is not required. Another would restore voting rights to incarcerated felons.

Healey declined to certify four proposed laws that would expand the legislature's ability to limit political spending and contributions by corporations, manage fishing equipment to ensure whale safety, place the top two finishers in a primary election regardless of party on the general election ballot, and create a commission to limit human-rights risks from technology.

Healey's office said her certification decisions are based on constitutional requirements and do not reflect support or opposition for any of the proposals.

Backers of proposed laws must now submit the signatures of 80,239 registered voters by December 4, after which the legislature will get an opportunity to act on the issue itself. If lawmakers do not address the measure, supporters can gather additional signatures to force a November 2020 ballot question.

The two constitutional amendment proposals must secure approval from at least 25 percent of the House and Senate acting jointly in two separate two-year lawmaking sessions. If that threshold is cleared, they will appear on the November 2022 ballot.

This report was originally published by State House News Service.

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