2018 spending topped $36M on failed bid to mandate nurse staffing in Massachusetts

A failed ballot measure calling for mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in Massachusetts represented 86 percent of all statewide ballot question spending in 2018, according to a review by the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The review found that committees in support of and in opposition to Question 1 together reported $36.9 million in receipts and $36.8 million in expenditures related to the measure. That's in addition to $2.5 million in in-kind contributions (such as donated staff time).

The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety ballot question committee, which opposed Question 1, reported about $25 million in expenditures, most of which came from the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, according to the review.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association provided most of the funding for the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care Committee, which supported the measure. The review found that the union provided $10.5 million, or 87 percent of the committee's total receipts related to Question 1.

Overall, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance said, $15.29 was spent on average per opposition vote compared to $13.31 for each vote of support.

The measure ended up failing 1,858,483-787,511 during last year's midterm elections.


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