What are the issues with the language?

Answer

The revenue raised is intended to be put toward “quality education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation”. Legal challenges come from the law's language surrounding the allocation of these funds. The amendment says that these funds will be given to these causes “subject to appropriation”, but it then follows with “only for these purposes”. However, in Massachusetts, a ballot question cannot allocate funds. Critics, like the Massachusetts High Technology Council, say that the funding will go to other budget priorities, like the budget shortfall, and not to the items specified in the amendment. Supporters point to the “gas tax” as an example of a tax that’s set aside specifically for transportation. Attorney General Healey has signed off on the constitutionality of the amendment.

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