Massachusetts, USA, regional Obligatory referendum [LOR] - Legislative Amendment

General Typology

Instrument
Obligatory referendum [LOR]
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Legislative Amendment
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Massachusetts Constitution, Article, XLVIII, Part IV, Section 1
A proposal for amendment to the constitution introduced into the general court by initiative petition shall be designated an initiative amendment, and an amendment introduced by a member of either house shall be designated a legislative substitute or a legislative amendment.
[...]
Section 4. Legislative Action. - Final legislative action in the joint session upon any amendment shall be taken only by call of the yeas and nays, which shall be entered upon the journals of the two houses; and an unfavorable vote at any stage preceding final action shall be verified by call of the yeas and nays, to be entered in like manner. At such joint session a legislative amendment receiving the affirmative votes of a majority of all the members elected, or an initiative amendment receiving the affirmative votes of not less than one-fourth of all the members elected, shall be referred to the next general court.

Section 5. Submission to the People. If in the next general court a legislative amendment shall again be agreed to in joint session by a majority of all the members elected [...] such fact shall be certified by the clerk of such joint session to the secretary of the commonwealth, who shall submit the amendment to the people at the next state election. Such amendment shall become part of the constitution if approved, in the case of a legislative amendment, by a majority of the voters voting thereon [...]

Source: Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (accessed 22 June 2017)

Subject Matter:

Amending the state constitution via obligatory referendum

Actors

Author:
Authority : Both houses of the General Court (Legislature) must pass the proposed amendment by a simple majority for two consecutive sessions (Massachusetts Constitution, Article XLVIII, Part IV, Section 4 & 5).
Initiator:
Law : Constitution
Decision maker:
Electorate : simple majority

Requirements

Available Time:
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Legal source does not mention an approval quorum.
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Massachusetts Constitution, Article XLVIII, Part VI
The general court, by resolution passed as hereinbefore set forth, may provide for grouping and designating upon the ballot as conflicting measures or as alternative measures, only one of which is to be adopted, any two or more proposed constitutional amendments or laws which have been or may be passed or qualified for submission to the people at any one election: provided, that a proposed constitutional amendment and a proposed law shall not be so grouped, and that the ballot shall afford an opportunity to the voter to vote for each of the measures or for only one of the measures, as may be provided in said resolution, or against each of the measures so grouped as conflicting or as alternative.

Article LXXIV, Section 4
[...] A fair, concise summary, as determined by the attorney general, subject to such provision as may be made by law, of each proposed amendment to the constitution, and each law submitted to the people, shall be printed on the ballot, and the secretary of the commonwealth shall give each question a number and cause such question, except as otherwise authorized herein, to be printed on the ballot in the following form:--
In the case of an amendment to the constitution: Do you approve of the adoption of an amendment to the constitution summarized below, (here state, in distinctive type, whether approved or disapproved by the general court, and by what vote thereon)?
[Set forth summary here]
[...]

Source: Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (accessed 22 June 2017) and Massachusetts General Laws (accessed 22 June 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:

General Laws, Part I, Chapter VIII, Chapter 54, Section 53
[...] 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. [...]

Section 54
The state secretary shall cause to be printed and sent, in the manner provided in section fifty-three, arguments for and against every measure to be submitted to the voters of the commonwealth. No argument shall contain more than one hundred and fifty words. The secretary shall seek such arguments from the principal proponents and opponents of each initiative or referendum petition, legislative amendment, legislative substitute or other measure to be submitted to all the voters of the commonwealth [...]

Source: Massachusetts General Laws (accessed 22 June 2017)

Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: