Ballot group spent record $24.7M fighting patient limits

February 25, 2019 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — A committee that opposed strict patient-to-nurse ratios in Massachusetts hospitals spent a record amount of money in its successful bid to defeat a ballot question last November.

State campaign finance regulators reported Monday that the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety, which was funded almost entirely by an organization representing hospitals, spent $24.7 million campaigning against Question 1.

That eclipsed the previous record of $21.6 million spent in 2016 by a ballot question committee that backed an unsuccessful charter school initiative.

Nurses and other supporters of patient limits spent roughly half as much as opponents. Question 1 failed by a 70 percent to 30 percent margin.

The Office of Campaign and Political Finance says the measure accounted for 86 percent of all ballot committee spending on the three 2018 statewide questions.