“Ballot Questions 2014: Casinos, Gas Tax, etc.”  

Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE,” tackles two important ballot initiatives that seek to undo recent actions by the Massachusetts Legislature. The forum, the second of the 20th season, will be held Thursday October 16th, 7:00PM-8:00PM at the historic Depot in Lexington Center (13 Depot Square in Lexington Center).

On November 4th, Massachusetts voters will find, in addition to candidates for Governor, other statewide offices, and the legislature, four important questions on the ballot. Two are initiatives that seek to resolve issues that the legislature has failed to address – an expansion of the state’s Bottle Bill to include juice and water bottles, and a proposal to provide earned sick time for employees in most businesses in the Commonwealth.

This month’s “OPEN HOUSE” looks at two additional ballot questions that seek to reverse actions taken by the legislature.

Question 1 deals with the state’s gas tax. Last year the legislature voted to increase the gas tax by 3 cents and also index the increased tax, so that it keeps pace with inflation.  Question 1 would repeal this indexing provision.  Jeff Bailey from “Tank The Gas Tax” will speak in support of repeal. Josh Ostroff, a Natick selectman and Outreach Director for Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) will advocate for keeping the law in place.

Question 3 would repeal the law authorizing casinos in Massachusetts. Bill Walczak, former Boston mayoral candidate who campaigned against casino gaming, will represent the “Repeal The Casino Deal” organization. An as-yet undesignated representative of the “Coalition For Mass Jobs” will argue for keeping casino gaming on the books.

Do we really need more money from the gas tax for transportation? What’s the state of the Commonwealth’s roads, bridges, and public transit systems? Does casino gaming create jobs and help our economy, or will it hurt it? Who goes to casinos in, and who wins and who loses? Find out the answers to these questions and bring your own. Don’t miss this forum October 16th, from 7PM-8PM. As always, the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance at www.jaykaufman.com, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman

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.