LACC releases positions on the 4 ballot questions

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From the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce –

The Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) is committed to serving its members, and to economic development and the growth of businesses on the North Shore and in the Commonwealth.

The LACC Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors (BoD) recently engaged in thoughtful discussion regarding the four statewide questions that will appear on the November 4 ballot. After factoring in what we perceive to be the overall ramification of these initiatives on our member businesses and the community at large, following is our public position on the questions facing voters:

Question 1: Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing
The LACC BoD Votes YES to eliminating the gas tax index.
We are against an automatic linkage that causes the tax to increase every year without a vote from the legislature. We believe it is incumbent upon the legislature to annually review, understand and cast a vote on any future change to the gas tax and therefore urge all to vote YES on Question 1. .

Question 2: Expanding the Beverage Container Deposit Law
The LACC BoD Votes NO regarding the expansion of the bottle bill
as such a change will not result in additional revenue for cities/towns and will add unnecessary inconvenience to residents.  The bottle deposit initiative was born in the 1980s when curbside recycling didn’t exist.  Today, 90% of households have access to curbside and/or community recycling.  The LACC believes the state should continue to invest in modern recycling technology instead of expanding an outdated initiative.

Question 3: Law to Prohibit Casino Gambling
The LACC BoD Votes NO to the repeal of casino gambling
.  A No vote on Question 3 will generate thousands of construction and permanent jobs with potentially millions of dollars subsequently invested back into the Commonwealth’s cities and towns.

Question 4: Mandating Earned Sick Time
The LACC BoD Votes NO on Question 4. The LACC strongly feels that Questions 4 would impose too significant a burden on Mass. companies, especially the thousands of small businesses.  Coupled with the state’s recent passage of a minimum wage hike (to $11/hr.), unprecedented increase in commercial utility costs and high cost of health insurance premiums, such a measure would be crippling to the small business community.  If Question 4 passes, ALL employers with 11 or more employees would be forced to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave to ALL of their employees, including part-timers and seasonal help.  In addition, employers with fewer than 11 employees would be required to provide up to 40 hours of unpaid leave. Mass. should focus more on attracting new industries and companies and advocate for their success. The LACC believes in a strong and steady workforce not a state mandate that will force employers to cut jobs or do business elsewhere.

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Ruthanne Switzer

Re Q4: Businesses would NOT have to provide 40 nhours of sick time, workers will have to EARN up to 40 hours! Significant difference! Consider the cost of hiring and training new employees…wouldn’t you rather KEEP the staff you have and help them to take care of their families and themselves and not infect all the rest of your staff? Earned sick time is GOOD! Vote YES!