Campaigns supporting and opposing Massachusetts ballot questions report over $57.2 million in contributions

The campaigns registered to support and oppose the four ballot questions in Massachusetts reported over $57.2 million in cash and in-kind contributions as of Oct. 20.

With $24.7 million raised by support committees and $13.7 million raised by the opposition, Massachusetts Question 1 is the most expensive legislative referral of the 2022 election cycle with a total of $38.4 million in contributions. 

There are three committees registered to support Question 1, which would enact an additional tax of 4% for income over $1 million and allocate the revenue towards education and transportation purposes. The top donors to the support committees were Massachusetts Teachers Association ($11.3 million), National Education Association ($7 million), and Sixteen Thirty Fund ($1.1 million).

There are two committees registered to oppose Question 1. The top donors included James Davis ($2 million), Paul and Sandra Edgerley ($2 million), Suffolk Construction Co. ($1 million), and Robert Kraft’s Rand-Whitney Containerboard ($1 million).

Question 2, a ballot initiative to set a medical loss ratio on dental insurance plans, has five committees registered to support and oppose the measure. The three registered in support of the measure received a total of $7.8 million in contributions with top donations from the American Dental Association($5.1 million), Mouhab Rizkallah ($2.4 million), and the Massachusetts Dental Society ($252,250). The two opposition committees reported nearly $7.7 million. The top donors included Dental Service of Massachusetts ($4.5 million), Principal Life Insurance ($962,524), and Metropolitan Life Insurance ($886,348).

Two committees registered to support and oppose Question 3, which would change the number of retail alcohol licenses allowed under state law. The support committee, 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee, reported nearly $1 million in contributions with the most contributions from Massachusetts Package Stores Association ($640,380). Food Stores For Consumer Choice was registered to oppose Question 3 and had reported $12.50 in in-kind contributions.

Two committees also registered to support and oppose Question 4, a veto referendum on a law that would change who is authorized to receive a driver’s license or vehicle registration. The support committee, Yes for Work and Family Mobility, reported $2.3 million in contributions. The top donors included various chapters of SEIU and Arbella Insurance Group. The opposition committee, Fair and Secure Massachusetts, which led the signature-gathering campaign to put the referendum on the ballot, reported $185,106 in contributions from various individuals.

Massachusetts also requires organizations that make independent expenditures in support of or opposition to ballot questions to report those amounts. Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance reported spending $7,158.07 on Question 1 and $6,411.77 on Questions 2, 3, and 4. Massachusetts Fine Wines & Spirits, LLC (Total Wine) reported $2.6 million in opposition to Question 3. These numbers are not reflected in the committee totals above.

In 2020, the support and opposition campaigns surrounding the two Massachusetts ballot initiatives that appeared on the ballot raised $61.6 million.