Mixed Bag on Ballot Questions:Casino Repeal Loses; Gas Tax Indexing Repealed; Expanded Bottle Bill Fails; Sick Time Approved

Lynn voters agreed with voters from around the state on the four statewide ballot questions that made it onto the ballot.

Questions about indexing the gas tax to inflation, expanding the bottle bill to include other soft drinks and water, repealing the state’s casino gaming law and requiring new sick time rules for employers were all heavily debated in recent months and on Tuesday Lynn voters spoke.

Question 1 asked voters to consider repealing a law enacted by the legislature last year that automatically increased the gas tax, based on changes in the consumer price index. The legislature at the time added the indexing component, as a means of providing a steady stream of revenue for state transportation projects. However, voters struck down the automatic increases, which will force the legislature to vote on future increases to the gas tax.

In Lynn 51-percent of voters voted to repeal the gas tax increases.

Question 2 asked voters to expand the existing bottle bill to include all plastic and glass beverage bottles, such as sports drinks, water and iced teas. Again voters across the state and in Lynn voted in favor of lower taxes, by voting against the proposal, with 77-percent of Lynn voters saying no.

Question 3, was one of the more confusing questions on the ballot, as voters were asked to vote “Yes” if they wanted to repeal the state’s casino gambling law, and vote “No” if they wanted casinos to be built in the state.

As was the case around the state, Lynn voters voted against the “repeal the casino” question with 70-percent of voters saying no. The outcome was not unexpected, especially since large Democratic interests like organized labor and environmental activists had sided with the casino developers to promote the “Vote No” agenda.

Finally, in what could be construed as a major victory for the state’s organized labor lobby, 67-percent of Lynn voters and more than 60-percent of voters statewide voted in favor of a proposal that would establish new sick time rules and thresholds for certain employers in the state.

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