Kaufman’s OPEN HOUSE Takes a Look at the

2018 Ballot Questions

Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE,”examines the upcoming election with “A Look at the 2018 Ballot Questions.” On November 6, voters will face three questions on the ballot, all three the result of initiative petitions, citizen efforts to legislate directly without benefit of the normal legislative process envisioned by the Founders. The forum will be held Thursday, October 25th, from 7:00PM-8:00PM at the historic Depot in Lexington Center (13 Depot Square in Lexington Center).

Two of the three questions on the ballot are rather straight-forward and one is anything but and will be the main focus of the evening’s discussion.

Question 1 is a proposal to establish Patient-to-Nurse Limits. As summarized in the Secretary of State’s Information for Voters, “the proposed law would limit how many patients could be assigned to each registered nurse in Massachusetts hospitals and certain other health care facilities.” Two different associations of nurses are on opposite sides of the question. Both are spending aggressively on ads to earn your vote and citing studies that lead to opposite conclusions.  Representatives of both sides will make their case, and Representative Kaufman said “I hope that we will be better informed voters when they do.”

Question 2 in the words of the Information for Voters, proposes to “create a citizen commission to advance an amendment to the United States Constitution to limit the influence of money in elections and establish that corporations do not have the same rights as human beings.”  While the result of the proposed effort would be only advisory (and potentially symbolic,) Representative Kaufman says “there seems to be every reason to pursue any and all initiatives that have a chance of accomplishing the proposed goals,” adding “there is no greater threat to democracy than the role of money in politics, and I urge all to vote “YES” on Question 2.”

Question 3 addresses the Massachusetts law that, again quoting the voters’ guide, “adds gender identity [in addition to race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, disability, and ancestry] to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination.”  A “YES” vote would keep the current anti-discrimination law in place.  A representative of LexPride and the “Yes on 3” campaign will join Representative Kaufman to explain the milestone law that advances protections for transgender individuals and to argue against its repeal.  “The only thing complicated is the way that opponents of the law framed the question, requiring a “YES” vote to sustain the law where you might have expected “YES” to signal support for repeal, which it most decidedly does not” Kaufman stated.

Don’t miss this very special event on October 25th, at 7PM. As always, the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance by email, jay.kaufman@mahouse.gov, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman.

The “OPEN HOUSE” farewell tour continues with three November forums on public sector leadership, November 1, 15 and 29.  These will be held at the Lexington Community Center (39 Marrett Road in Lexington.)  The farewell tour concludes with the final forum on December 13, back at the usual venue, the Depot in Lexington Center.

In 1997, OPEN HOUSE was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award, cable television’s equivalent of an Emmy. The series was also named the best television series by Massachusetts Cable Television Commission. The OPEN HOUSE series is produced through a partnership between Representative Kaufman and LexMedia which records the forums for broadcast in Lexington and Woburn.

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