Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section twenty-two A of chapter fifty-five of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the board of selectmen of the town of Sudbury shall, at least seven days before any election at which a question, other than a question on the ballot pursuant to section eighteen A of chapter fifty-three of the General Laws, shall be submitted solely to the voters of said town, cause to be printed and sent to each residence of one or more voters whose name appears on the latest voting list for said town and make available at each polling place (1) the full text of such question, (2) a fair and concise summary of such question, including a one sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote, prepared by the town counsel of said town, and (3) arguments for and against such question as provided in subsections (b) and (c).
(b) No argument shall contain more than two hundred and fifty words. Said board of selectmen or, at its request, said town counsel shall seek such written arguments from the principal proponents and opponents of each such question. Said board of selectmen shall designate a date by which written arguments must be received, in a written notice to the principal proponents and opponents. Said notice must be issued at least fourteen days before the date by which the written arguments must be received.
(c) For the purposes of this act, the principal proponents and opponents of any such question shall be those persons determined by said board of selectmen to be best able to present the arguments for and against such question. The principal proponents or opponents of such a question may include a town or district officer or committee, and the principal proponents may include the first ten signers or a majority of the first ten signers of any petition initiating the placement of such question on the ballot. In determining the principal proponents and opponents of such a question, said board of selectmen shall contact each ballot question committee, if any, as defined in section one of chapter fifty-five of the General Laws, organized specifically to influence the outcome of the vote on such question. If no argument is received by said board of selectmen within the time allowed by this act, said town counsel shall prepare such argument.
(d) All arguments filed with said board of selectmen pursuant to this act, and the summary prepared pursuant to subsection (a), shall be open to public inspection at the office of the town clerk of said town, and if the vote affects a district, the arguments and summary shall be open to public inspection at the office of the clerk of each city or town within the jurisdiction of the district.
SECTION 2. This act shall apply where the question presented involves the regional district of which the town of Sudbury is a member or involves a joint undertaking by said town of Sudbury and any one or more cities or towns.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.