Audit-The Legislature Campaign Says It Submitted Enough Signatures To Make November 2024 Ballot

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/11/23/audit-the-legislature-campaign-says-it-submitted-enough-signatures-to-make-november-2024-ballot/

Massachusetts state auditor Diane DiZoglio’s campaign to put a ballot question before voters next year giving the auditor explicit authority to audit the state legislature says it submitted more than enough signatures to meet a crucial deadline.

DiZoglio and what State House News Service called “her hodgepodge of political allies” say they submitted more than 100,000 signatures from registered voters to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office before the end-of-the-day deadline Wednesday, November 22.

The Democratic leadership of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives have resisted DiZoglio’s effort, saying she lacks the authority under the state constitution to audit those chambers.

But DiZoglio has drawn support from critics of the legislature, including the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance on the right and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee on the left.

“Our campaign resonates with the people of Massachusetts because they want our leaders to fix the numerous, simultaneous crises our Commonwealth is facing – whether that’s in housing, health care, transportation, mental health, addiction or others,” DiZoglio said in a written statement circulated by the ballot question campaign, according to State House News Service. “Beacon Hill cannot continue its closed-door, opaque operations with so much at stake. I’m so thankful to every single supporter for helping to make this vision a reality. We are demonstrating that by coming together – regardless of family background, bank balance, zip code, or political party – we can accomplish great things for a common good.”

This week’s signatures deadline is in theory the biggest hurdle, though other requirements remain.

If the campaign meets all of the requirements, then the Massachusetts voters in the November 2024 general election would decide whether to approve a new statute by referendum that would explicitly authorize the state auditor to audit the state legislature.

A UMass Amherst/WCVB poll taken in mid-October found that voters support the audit-the-legislature ballot question by 67 to 7 percent.

Still looming, though, is whether the state attorney general, Andrea Campbell, will certify the ballot question as constitutional. Democratic legislative leaders on Beacon Hill have urged Campbell to reject it, saying it would take an amendment to the state constitution, not a mere statute, to give the auditor authority to audit them.

If Campbell rules against the ballot question, then the dispute could end up before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

 

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