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. Notwithstanding section 22A of chapter 55 or 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 Shrewsbury shall, at least 10 days before any election at which a binding or nonbinding question shall be submitted solely to the voters of the town, cause to be printed and sent to each residence of 1 or more voters whose name appears on the latest voting list for the town and make available at each polling place: (1) the full 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 the town; and (3) arguments for and against the questions as provided in section 2.
SECTION 2. The board of selectmen of the town of Shrewsbury 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 the town under 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. The board of selectmen, or, at its request, the town counsel, shall seek written arguments from the principal proponents or opponents of each question. The board of selectmen shall designate a date by which written arguments must be received in a written notice to the principal proponents or opponents. This notice shall be issued at least 14 days before the date by which the written arguments must be received.
For the purpose of this act, the principal proponents and opponents of any question shall be those persons determined by the board of selectmen to be best able to present the arguments for and against the question. The principal proponents or opponents of 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 of any petition initiating the placement of the question on the ballot. In determining the principal proponents and opponents of a question, the 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 each question. If no argument is received by the board of selectmen within the time allowed by this act, the town counsel shall prepare the 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 the town.
SECTION 3. 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.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved January 3, 2007.