Voters are one step closer to having a say at the ballot next year on whether any taxpayer money should go to the Boston 2024 Olympic effort.
A political coalition of Republicans and independents trying to stop the state from spending any funds on the Olympics filed language they hope will appear in front of voters on the 2016 ballot. If approved by voters at the polls, it would create a law that would specifically bar any state resources from being used to procure or support the games.
Thursday's filing was a crucial step in the process of getting the question directly to voters and establishing a strict law to bar state funds from any Olympics effort.
The filing comes the same day officials from the United States Olympic Committee came to Boston to visit with leaders of the group bidding for the Boston games. Public opinion of the games has never been strong and the USOC big shots are coming to talk to Boston 2024 about how they're righting the ship, according to the Associated Press.
The ballot question does carve out a place for the state to spend whatever it wants to improve the transportation system — something that needs to happen if the games are to be staged in Boston.
The coalition backing the ballot measure is made up of the groups Citizens for a Say, which is fronted by United Independent Party chairman Evan Falchuk and the Tank Taxes for Olympics group, an offshoot of the group that put up the successful 2014 ballot question to detach the state gas tax from inflation.
After a brief press conference in front of the State House, Falchuk presented the language to the attorney general's office Thursday afternoon.
"There's a lot of hunger out there from people who want a way to act around this issue of the Olympics," Falchuk said to reporters after the press conference. "People who are fans of sports, fans of the Olympics, but say 'I don't want tax money diverted to pay for it.'"
"We appreciate the voice and effort Evan Falchuk is bringing to the Boston 2024 debate," said Kelley Gossett from No Boston Olympics, another group opposing the bid by Boston 2024 to bring the Olympics here.
Before it lands in front of voters, Attorney General Maura Healey has to sign off on the legal language of the question. Healey will now have until September 2 to approve or deny the ballot question. From there, Secretary of State William Galvin will work with the coalition and any group that organizes to oppose the question to write summaries and explanations for both sides. If it gets certified, Galvin will assign the question a number and place it on the ballot in 2016.