Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Section 3 of chapter 385 of the acts of 1974 is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
If the joint school committees fail to determine the amounts necessary to be raised to maintain and operate the Union school, the following provisions shall apply. The joint school committee shall convene a special district wide meeting open to all registered voters in both municipalities at which the Union school district budget, proposed by the joint school committee, shall be considered. Such meeting shall be called pursuant to a warrant, under the hands of at least a majority of the joint school committee, notice of which shall be given at least 14 days prior to the date of such meeting. The warrant shall state the time, place and purpose of the meeting and shall be directed to the joint school committee secretary, who shall give notice by posting a copy in the clerk's office of each town and at least two other public places in each member municipality and who shall further provide notice by publishing a copy of said warrant in at least one newspaper in general circulation within the member municipalities. The boards of selectmen of the member municipalities, in a joint meeting shall, by a majority vote of those present, appoint a town moderator or any other person acceptable to the boards of selectmen to act as moderator and the Union school district secretary shall keep the record of such meeting. Approval of the Union school district budget shall require the affirmative vote of at least a majority of those present and voting thereon, by a counted vote. The Union school district budget so approved shall be apportioned between the member municipalities and paid by them in accordance with the terms of the Union school district agreement. If, after submission of the budget, no agreement is reached as to a budget for the Union school district, the district shall notify the department of education of a lack of a budget and the commissioner, or his designee, shall certify an amount sufficient for the operation of the district and order the appropriation thereof in an amount not less than one-twelfth of the total budget approved by the Union school's region in the most recent fiscal year. Similar sums shall be certified and appropriated for each successive month to insure the continued provision of services by the Union school district until such time as a budget is adopted and approved by the Union school committee and member towns in the manner otherwise provided herein. In the event a budget is not adopted by December 1 in any year, the department shall assume operation of the district and funds for this purpose shall be deducted from local aid distributed to member towns.