and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Save the citizens' petition process

To:   Members of the Constitutional Convention

From:   Citizens for Limited Taxation, which has worked with volunteers collecting signatures on eleven initiative petitions and therefore knows what it is talking about when it says:

S. 362 would kill the initiative petition process in Massachusetts.

This proposal was already rejected by the Election Laws Committee and we are grateful for the respect shown by that committee for the voters’ initiative. We hope you will vote with the Committee that S 362 Ought NOT to Pass.

The I&R has been used in Massachusetts by activist groups from all sides of the political spectrum: fiscal conservatives like us, tax hike liberals, animal rights activists, environmentalists, and good government groups. You will note that only one of the petitions that were filed last fall got enough signatures to proceed toward the ballot. Even CLT, with its years of experience, has a hard time getting enough to survive challenges by opponents and make it to the voters.

We urge you to vote to preserve the people’s initiative petition process, to vote “No” on Senator Rosenberg’s attempt to kill it.

And speaking of the initiative petition process, the voters decided in 2000 that the temporary income tax rate hike of 1989 should be rolled back and the state income tax rate should once again be 5 percent. You have only a few more days to respect the will of the voters. We hope that the supplemental budget will be amended to return part of the state surplus to taxpayers through a reduction of the rate to 5% for tax year 2005. A vote for a supplemental budget that does not contain the promised reduction will be a vote against respecting the voters.

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