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Ballot measures approve sick time, let casinos proceed

By Christopher S. Pineo
Posted: 11/7/2014

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BRAINTREE --The two ballot measures supported by the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts had mixed outcomes in the Nov. 4 elections.

Question 4, which was approved by voters, will take effect next July and require employers to grant workers one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 11 or more employees would have to provide paid sick time, while for smaller employers the sick time will be unpaid.

"We believe that requiring earned sick time contributes to the dignity of every worker. Low-wage workers, those that are most vulnerable, deserve the security of knowing that their work will result in providing for their means and the means of their families without the fear of job loss," a statement signed by the four bishops of Massachusetts said in October.

Question 3, which would have repealed expanded casino gambling in the state, was rejected by voters.

"While the Catholic Church views gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment when done in moderation, expanded gaming in the Commonwealth opens the door to a new form of predatory gaming. We are concerned that the Commonwealth will be forced to rely on an unstable form of revenue, depending largely on those addicted to gambling," a September statement from the bishops said.

Repeal The Casino Deal, a group organized to oppose the casino laws, expressed their disappointment at the vote.

"Though the results are not what we had hoped, we left it all on the field and we couldn't have done it without you," the organization told supporters on their Facebook page.