MTA President: 'We are not going away'
In a decision that strikes a stunning blow to the democratic process, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the Fair Share Amendment will not be on the ballot this fall. The ruling serves to undermine the interests of students, educators, families and our communities.
The amendment, if passed, would have increased taxes on annual income over $1 million in order to help fund public schools, colleges and universities, as well as roads, bridges and public transportation. The measure would have raised a projected $1.9 billion a year. In rejecting its inclusion on the ballot, the SJC sided with the corporate interests that challenged the right of voters to consider the initiative rather than with the people of Massachusetts. The majority opinion was written by appointees of Governor Charlie Baker.
"We are not diminished because our power has always been — and will remain — with collective action and coalitions."MTA President Barbara Madeloni
“The struggle is clear,” said MTA President Barbara Madeloni in a statement released after the ruling was handed down. “From Question 2 to this decision and to the soon-to-come Janus ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, corporate interests are committed to attacking public education, public-sector unions, and the common good.”
The MTA is an active member of the Raise Up Massachusetts Coalition, the group that collected more than 157,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot. The language of the ballot question was certified by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and was approved by a large majority of legislators in two consecutive Constitutional Conventions.
“Although the corporate lobby prevailed in this case, we are not diminished because our power has always been — and will remain — with collective action and coalitions,” Madeloni continued. “Strong locals and community alliances will give us the power to continue to fight for this issue, which is crucial to our members and our communities: fully funding public education, from prekindergarten through higher education.
“Educators from West Virginia to Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona are teaching us that our collective power is greater than any court decision or legislative deal. We are not going away,” she said.
“As educators, we must continue to organize through our unions and within our communities to secure the funding that is vital for our students to succeed and thrive,” Madeloni concluded. “We will continue to build bridges to parents and other residents who value public schools and public higher education. Our efforts will be fierce and determined — and they will ensure that we win the schools and colleges our communities deserve.”