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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

Section 12 of chapter 686 of the acts of 1970 is hereby amended by striking out subsection (g), as amended by chapter 469 of the acts of 1986, and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-

(g) No final vote of any representative town meeting session passing or rejecting a measure under any article in the warrant, except a vote to adjourn, or an authorization to borrow money in anticipation of taxes, an authorization to pay debts and obligations of the town, an appropriation of funds necessary to implement a written agreement executed under section 7 of chapter 150E of the General Laws, or the budget of the town as a whole, or a vote declared by preamble to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of peace, health, safety or convenience of the town, and which is passed by a two-thirds vote of the membership, shall be operative until 14 days after the adoption of such vote.

If, within said 14 days after the vote, a petition signed by not less than 5 per cent of the registered voters of the town, containing their names and addresses as they appear on the list of registered voters at the most recent election, is filed in the office of the selectmen requesting that the question or questions involved in any such vote be submitted to the registered voters of the town at large, then the operation of such vote shall be further suspended pending its determination as hereinafter provided. The board of registrars shall certify the signatures within 7 days of the filing date. The selectmen shall forthwith after the board of registrars certifies that the petition has the requisite number of signatures, call a special election which shall be held within 100 days but no sooner than the earliest date on which the question may appear on the ballot pursuant to section 42C of chapter 54 of the General Laws; provided, however, that if a regular or special town election is to be held within the 100 day period, the selectmen may provide that the question or questions involved be presented to the voters at the same election.

All votes shall be taken by official ballots, and the check list shall be used in the same manner as in the election of town officers. The questions so submitted shall be determined by a majority vote of the registered voters of the town voting thereof, but an action of the representative town meeting shall not be reversed unless 20 per cent of the registered voters of the town shall vote to reverse the vote of the representative town meeting.

The questions so submitted shall be stated on the ballot in substantially the same language and form in which they were stated when presented by the moderator to the representative town meeting as appears from the records of said meeting; provided, however, that if the question as stated by the moderator was lengthy as determined by the board of selectmen in its sole discretion the question may instead be stated in summary form by referring to the action taken by the representative town meeting.

This election shall be held on a Saturday, unless it is to be held in conjunction with another election and the polls shall open not later than 2:00 p.m. and shall be closed not earlier than 8:00 p.m.

If a petition is not filed within 14 days of a final vote of the representative town meeting, it shall then become effective.

Approved August 29, 2007.