Massachusetts, USA, regional Obligatory referendum [LOR] - question whether ratification is desirable

General Typology

Instrument
Obligatory referendum [LOR]
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
question whether ratification is desirable
Normative Level:
statutory
Legally Binding:
no
Legally Defined:

General Laws, Part I, Chapter VIII, Chapter 53, Section 18
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the commonwealth that the general court, when called upon to act upon a proposed amendment to the federal constitution, should defer action until the opinion of the voters of the commonwealth has been taken, as herein provided, relative to the wisdom and expediency of ratifying the same; therefore, if a proposed amendment to the federal constitution is duly submitted to the general court as provided in article five of the constitution of the United States, and is not ratified at the session at which it is submitted, there shall be submitted to all the voters of the commonwealth at the following state election, if such an election is to occur prior to the next regular session of the general court, otherwise at such special or regular state election as the general court may order, the question whether such ratification is desirable. [...]

Source: Massachusetts General Laws (accessed 22 June 2017)

Subject Matter:

Submitting an advisory question to the electorate regarding ratifying a proposed federal constitutional amendment

Actors

Author:
Authority : United States Congress
Initiator:
Law / Minority of Legislature : If the legislature does not pass the amendment at the session at which it is submitted, the question must be put to the electorate (Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Chapter VIII, Chapter 53, Section 18)
Decision maker:
Electorate (or Legislature; see "Initiator")

Requirements

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

Procedural Elements

Wording Of Ballot Question:

General Laws, Part I, Chapter VIII, Chapter 53, Section 18
[...] The question shall be placed upon the official ballot in the following form: €œIs it desirable that the proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States (describing the same) be ratified by the general court? [...]

Chapter 54, Section 53
[...] The secretary shall also cause to be printed and sent in like manner any question to be placed on the ballot at a biennial state election for the purpose of ascertaining the will of the people upon a particular subject provided that such question is received by the secretary on or before the first Wednesday of July preceding such election. 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. Any fifty voters may petition the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county to require that any such title or statement [given to the proposed measure] be amended; provided, however, that such petition must be filed within twenty days after the publication of said title and statement. [...]

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 [(amending Article XLVIII)]
[...] 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:
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

Because the decision does not automatically pass to the electorate, this is not a normal LOR. However, in the sense that the question must be put the the electorate if the legislature does not pass it, it is a LOR.