UMass-Boston to host ballot question debates

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WBUR and The Boston Globe are teaming up with UMass-Boston to host a series of live debates starting in September to explore the four ballot questions that voters will be asked to decide in November relating to charter schools, legal marijuana, slot gambling and the treatment of farm animals.

The debates, beginning on Sept. 13, will take place each Tuesday as part of WBUR’s “Radio Boston” program from 3 p.m to 4 p.m. in front of a live audience in the McCormack Theater on the UMass Boston Campus.

Representatives from both sides of each question will square off in forums moderated by Radio Boston host Meghna Chakrabarti and a co-moderator from the Globe.

“Each of these ballot questions will impact our communities, our children, and our livelihoods, and we know voters will want to be as informed as possible when they vote in November,” David Cash, dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, said in a statement.

The series will start with a debate over Question 2, which proposes to authorize the licensing of up to 12 new charter schools a year without regard for the existing caps.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, proponents and opponents will debate the merits of regulating the treatment of farm animals, including proposed requirements on the size of cages in which animals are kept.

The third debate on Sept. 27 will focus on Question 1 proposing to authorize the licensing of an additional slot parlor in Massachusetts with a carefully crafted addendum to the expanded gaming law that would favor a new gambling facility at Suffolk Downs.

The final debate on Oct. 4 will cover Question 4 legalizing the adult use of marijuana and taxing and regulating the substance like alcohol.

All debates will be free and open to the public with pre-registration and live streamed on, and

— Written by Matt Murphy

Copyright State House News Service