Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 425 of the acts of 1983 is hereby amended by striking out subsection 5.7 and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
5.7 Filling of Vacancies.
(a) School Committee Member. If a vacancy in the office of school committee member shall occur in the first 18 months of the term for which school committee members are elected, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as provided for district councilors; if the candidate who is willing to serve shall have received not less than 30 per cent of the votes cast for the office of school committee member in the district in which the vacancy exists. If no such candidate is available the city council shall, within 30 days following the date the vacancy is declared to exist, elect a suitable person from among the voters residing in the district to serve for the balance of the unexpired term.
(b) In general, no vacancy which occurs after the first eighteen months of the term for which school committee members are elected shall be filled unless failure to fill such vacancies would result in fewer than four persons serving as members of the school committee, in that event all such vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided above.
Whenever a vacancy exists on the school committee which is not filled at the time of the city election, the person elected at such election to fill the seat in which the vacancy exists shall forthwith be sworn and shall, in addition to the term for which he was elected, serve for the balance of the then unexpired term.
SECTION 2. Subsection 8.3 of said section 1 of said chapter 425 is hereby further amended by striking out paragraph (a) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(a) Signature Requirements - The number of signatures of voters required to place the name of a candidate on the official ballot to be used at a preliminary election shall be as follows: for the office of the mayor not less than two hundred and fifty; for the office of councilor at large not less than one hundred; and for the office of district councilor or school committee member not less than fifty signatures of voters of the district from which the candidate seeks to be nominated. In no case shall a person collect signatures to be a candidate for more than one city office.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.