Oberlies v. Attorney GeneralAnnotate this Case
The Attorney General’s decisions to certify Initiative Petition 17-07 and not to certify the related petition, Initiative Petition 17-08, were correct.
Initiative Petition 17-07 would limit the number of patients who may be assigned to a registered nurse in the Commonwealth’s healthcare facilities and would prohibit facilities from reducing certain other healthcare staff. Initiative Petitioner 17-08 contained the same provisions as the first petition and added a section that would require publicly funded hospitals to make annual public disclosures of their financial assets. While certifying that the first petition met the requirements of article 48 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, the Attorney General declined to certify the second petition on the grounds that the mandate for financial disclosure was not sufficiently related to or mutually dependent upon the other provisions in the petition. The Supreme Judicial Court held that the Attorney General’s decisions to certify Initiative Petition 17-07 and not to certify Initiative Petition 17-08 were in compliance with the requirements of article 48.