Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 9 of chapter 58 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the word "April" and inserting in place thereof the word:- June.
SECTION 2. Chapter 59 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 25, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 25. The assessors in any city or town, except Boston, may add to the amount to be assessed such reasonable amount as the commissioner may approve although the limit of taxation as fixed in any city may by such overlay be exceeded, such amount to be used only for avoiding fractional divisions of the amount to be assessed in the apportionment thereof and for abatements granted on account of property assessed for the fiscal year for which the overlay is made or of taxes in the warrant of which the overlay is a part, but any balance in the overlay account, in excess of the amount of the warrant remaining to be collected or abated, as certified by the board of assessors, shall be transferred by the board of assessors upon their own initiative or within ten days of a written request by the chief executive officer, with written notice to the chief executive officer, to a reserve fund to be appropriated for any lawful purpose; any balance in said reserve fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be closed out to surplus revenue. This section shall apply to fire, water and improvement districts.
SECTION 3. Chapter 60 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 3B the following section:-
Section 3C. Any city or town which accepts the provisions of this section or has previously accepted chapter one hundred and ninety-four of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-six is hereby authorized, subject to the approval of the commissioner, to design and designate a place on its municipal tax bills, or the motor vehicle excise tax bills, or to mail with such tax bills a separate form, whereby the taxpayers of said city or town can voluntarily check off, donate and pledge an amount not less than one dollar or such other designated amount which shall increase the amount otherwise due, and to establish a city or town scholarship fund, the purpose of which shall be to provide educational financial aid to deserving city and town residents in accordance with this section.
Any amounts donated to the scholarship fund shall be deposited into a special account in the general treasury and shall be in the custody of the treasurer. The treasurer shall invest said funds at the direction of the officer, board, commission, committee or other agency of the city or town who or which is otherwise authorized and required to invest trust funds of the city or town and subject to the same limitations applicable to trust fund investments, except as otherwise specified herein. Interest earned upon such fund shall remain therewith and shall be used for the purpose of said fund without further appropriation.
In any city or town establishing a scholarship fund there shall be a scholarship committee to consist of the superintendent of the city or town schools or designee thereof, and no fewer than four residents of the city or town appointed by the board of selectmen to a term of three years. The scholarship committee shall select the recipients of and amounts of financial aid from the scholarship fund and shall be guided by any criteria established by the scholarship committee, subject to any ordinance or by-law and further subject to the following criteria:
(a) The recipients of financial aid must be residents of the city or town at the time the financial aid is first awarded and have been accepted to pursue education beyond the secondary school level at an institution deemed accredited by the committee.
(b) The committee shall take into consideration each recipients financial need, character, scholastic record and involvement in community work as well as extracurricular school activities.
The scholarship committee may distribute financial aid from both interest and principal of the fund, without further appropriation. The scholarship committee shall establish a procedure for determining at least on an annual basis the amounts or percentage of the funds that shall be authorized for distribution and for notifying the investing officer or agency so that the funds may be made available in a timely manner and with a minimum of penalties.
SECTION 4. Chapter one hundred and ninety-four of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-six is hereby repealed.
SECTION 5. Any city or town which accepted provisions of chapter one hundred and ninety-four of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-six prior to the effective date of this act shall be subject to the provisions of section three C of chapter sixty of the General Laws.