AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF DEDHAM TO SEND CERTAIN INFORMATION TO THE VOTERS OF THE TOWN.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Notwithstanding section 22A of chapter 55 of the General
Laws, section 21C of chapter 59 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the
contrary, the board of selectmen of the town of Dedham shall, at least 10 days
before any election at which a binding or nonbinding question shall be
submitted solely to the voters of said town cause to be printed and sent to
each residence of 1 or more voters whose name appears on the latest active
voting list for said town and make available at each polling place (1) the
text of the question; (2) a fair and concise summary of the question,
including a 1 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
as provided in section 2.
The board of selectmen of the town of Dedham shall cause
to be printed and sent, in the manner provided in section 1, arguments for and
against each question submitted solely to the voters of said town pursuant to
any General Law, including but not limited to, section 21C of chapter 59 of
the General Laws. No argument shall contain more than 250 words. Said board
of selectmen, or, at its request the 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 or opponents.
Said notice must be issued at least 14 days before the date by which the
written arguments must be received.
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 officer
or committee, and the principal proponents may include the first 10 signers or
a majority of the first 10 signers or 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 1 of chapter 55 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.
All arguments filed with or prepared by the board of selectmen under
this act, and the summary prepared under section 1, shall be open to
public inspection at the office of the town clerk of said town.
The official ballot shall include the summary and
statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote as provided in
clause (2) of section 1.
This act shall also apply where the question presented
involves the regional district of which the town of Dedham is a member or
involves a joint undertaking by said town of Dedham and any 1 or more cities or
This act shall take effect upon its passage.