Fiscal Effect Statements for Statewide Ballot Measures
Messrs. Rosenberg, Michael O. Moore and Tarr moved that the bill be amended by inserting after section 12 the following new section:-
SECTION 12A. The first paragraph of section 53 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the second through fifth sentences, inclusive, and inserting in place thereof the following 4 sentences:-
The secretary shall cause to be printed and sent to all residential addresses and to each voter residing in group residential quarters, with copies of the measures to which they refer, a summary prepared by the attorney general, a ballot question title prepared jointly by the attorney general and state secretary, fair and neutral one sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote prepared jointly by the attorney general and state secretary, a statement of not more than 100 words prepared by the secretary of administration and finance, in consultation with impacted stakeholders and interested parties, of the fiscal consequences of the measure for state and municipal government finances, and, as provided in section 54, arguments for and against measures to be submitted to the voters under Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution. The secretary shall make available for public examination a copy of such ballot question titles, one-sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote, and fiscal effect statements, and shall publish the same in the Massachusetts register on or before the second Wednesday in May. Any fifty voters may petition the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county to require that any such title or statements be amended; provided, however, that such petition must be filed within 20 days after the publication of said title and statements. The court may issue an order requiring amendment by the attorney general and state secretary only if it is clear that the title, one-sentence statement, or fiscal effect statement in question is false, misleading or inconsistent with the requirements of this section.