Massachusetts Attorney General Certifies Initiative Petitions that say App-Based Drivers are Not Employees

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell determined that 34 initiative petitions met the requirements and could proceed to the next step (signature gathering) including nine (9) petitions that propose a law saying that app-based drivers are not employees.

Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s statement on the initiative petition follows:

BOSTON — After a thorough review of 42 initiative petitions, Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s Office has determined that 34 proposals have met the requirements outlined in the Massachusetts constitution and may proceed to the next step in the process.

The AG’s Office certified the 34 petitions, including 31 proposed laws and 3 proposed constitutional amendments. Certain petitioners submitted multiple petitions on the same subject. Seven initiatives were not certified because they do not meet requirements outlined in Article 48 of the Massachusetts Constitution. The only remaining petition, a proposed constitutional amendment, was withdrawn by its proponent.

A list of the petitions and the AG’s certification decisions are available on the AG’s website. Letters explaining the AG’s decisions not to certify are also available on the website.

Today’s decisions strictly reflect the AGO’s constitutional role in the Article 48 process.  Certification does not represent, and does not in any way reflect, support or opposition to the policies proposed by the petitions. The Massachusetts Constitution requires that proposed initiatives be in the proper form for submission to voters, not be substantially the same as any measure on the ballot in either of the two preceding statewide elections, contain only subjects that are related to each other or mutually dependent, and not involve a set of issues that are specifically excluded from the ballot initiative process by the Massachusetts Constitution.

For example, a petition cannot be approved if it relates to religion, religious practices or religious institutions; the powers, creation or abolition of the courts; the appointment, compensation or tenure of judges; a specific appropriation of funds from the state treasury; or if it infringes on certain other constitutional rights listed in Article 48, such as trial by jury, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and free elections.

Proponents of the proposed laws must now gather and file with the Secretary of the Commonwealth the signatures of 74,574 registered voters by December 6, 2023. Once these signatures are verified, the proposal will be sent to the State Legislature in January 2024 for its consideration on or before the first Wednesday of May 2024. If the Legislature does not enact a proposal, proponents must gather 12,429 additional signatures from registered voters by July 3, 2024 to place the proposed law on the November 2024 ballot.

The process for proposed constitutional amendments is different, as constitutional amendments proposed by initiative require approval by at least 25 percent of two consecutive joint sessions of the Legislature. Accordingly, no such proposal can appear on the ballot before November 2026.

In certain circumstances, voters who believe a certification decision is incorrect can ask the Supreme Judicial Court for review.

Source: AG’s Office Certifies 34 Initiative Petitions |

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