Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately provide for review of the one sentence statement to be placed on the ballot, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 42A of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1994 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "consecutively", in line 8, the following words:- ; provided, however, that the fair, concise summary of any measure submitted to the voters under the provisions of said Article XLVIII shall be accompanied on the ballot by the one-sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote, prepared as required in section fifty-three.
SECTION 2. The first paragraph of section 53 of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following four sentences:- The secretary shall cause to be printed and sent to all residential addresses and to each voter residing in group residential quarters, with copies of the measures to which they refer, a summary prepared by the attorney general, a ballot question title prepared jointly by the attorney general and state secretary, fair and neutral one sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote prepared jointly by the attorney general and state secretary, and, as provided in section fifty-four, arguments for and against measures to be submitted to the voters under Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution. The secretary shall make available for public examination a copy of such ballot question titles and one-sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote, and shall publish the same in the Massachusetts register on or before the second Wednesday in May. Any fifty voters may petition the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county to require that any such title or statement be amended; provided, however, that such petition must be filed within twenty days after the publication of said title and statement. The court may issue an order requiring amendment by the attorney general and state secretary only if it is clear that the title or one-sentence statement in question is false, misleading or inconsistent with the requirements of this section.
SECTION 3. The second paragraph of said section 53 of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- Any such question shall be presented as set forth in this section for measures submitted under Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution, provided that the publication and judicial review procedures set forth herein shall be inapplicable where questions are received by the secretary on or after the first Wednesday in May.