HB1196 (2008) Detail

(New Title) relative to the procedure for amending municipal charters and relative to referendum procedures for public water supplies.


CHAPTER 230

HB 1196 – FINAL VERSION

05Mar2008… 0610h

05/15/08 1789s

05/15/08 1820s

2008 SESSION

08-2214

06/09

HOUSE BILL 1196

AN ACT relative to the procedure for amending municipal charters and relative to referendum procedures for public water supplies.

SPONSORS: Rep. Winters, Hills 17; Rep. Infantine, Hills 13

COMMITTEE: Municipal and County Government

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill:

I. Adds a procedure for revising or amending municipal charters.

II. Moves review of charter amendments that are initiated by a petitioners’ committee to before petitions are issued by the clerk, instead of after signatures are collected.

III. Changes referendum procedures for voting on public water supplies.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

05Mar2008… 0610h

05/15/08 1789s

05/15/08 1820s

08-2214

06/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight

AN ACT relative to the procedure for amending municipal charters and relative to referendum procedures for public water supplies.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

230:1 New Paragraph; Charter Amendments; Procedure. Amend RSA 49-B:5 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

II-a. The following procedure shall be used in the alternative method set out in paragraph II:

(a) Any 5 voters of the municipality may file with the municipal clerk an affidavit stating that they shall constitute a petitioners’ committee. Such affidavit shall be signed by the members of such committee and an additional 20 voters of the municipality and shall include:

(1) The language of the proposed amendment.

(2) The names and addresses of the committee members.

(3) The address to which all notices to the committee are to be sent.

(b) The petitioners’ committee, or voters of the municipality designated by the committee, may circulate the petition and file it in proper form.

(c) Promptly after the affidavit is filed by the petitioners’ committee, the clerk shall file a certified copy of the affidavit, including the proposed amendment, for review of the proposed amendment in accordance with RSA 49-B:5-a. Promptly after receiving approval of the proposed amendment from the state officials under RSA 49-B:5-a, the clerk shall issue petition blanks to the committee.

230:2 Charter Amendments; Procedure. Amend RSA 49-B:5, III to read as follows:

III. The petition forms shall carry the following legend in bold lettering at the top of each form on the face thereof.

Municipality of ____________________________________________

“Each of the undersigned voters respectfully requests the municipal officers to provide for the amendment of the municipal charter as set out below.” No more than one subject may be included in a petition. Except as provided in RSA 49-B:5, II-a, in all other respects the form, content and procedures governing amendment petitions shall be the same as provided for charter revision and adoption petitions under RSA 49-B:3 including procedures relating to filing, sufficiency and amendments.

230:3 Municipal Charters; Approval and Review. RSA 49-B:5-a, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. The municipal clerk shall file a report with the secretary of state, attorney general, and the commissioner of the department of revenue administration as follows:

(a) Within 10 days of the filing of the preliminary report relative to any new municipal charter, charter revision, or charter amendment, if initiated by a charter commission or the municipal officers, the municipal clerk shall file a certified copy of said report.

(b) Promptly after the filing of the petitioners’ affidavit relative to a charter amendment, the municipal clerk shall file a certified report consisting of a copy of said affidavit.

(c) Within 30 days of the receipt of said report by the secretary of state, attorney general, and the commissioner of the department of revenue administration, they shall review the proposed charter, charter revision, or charter amendment to insure that it is consistent with the general laws of this state.

230:4 Approval and Review. Amend RSA 49-B:5-a, II to read as follows:

II. If the secretary of state, the attorney general, or the commissioner of the department of revenue administration do not approve, the proposed charter or charter amendment question, if initiated by a charter commission or the municipal officers, shall not be placed on the municipal ballot. If the proposed charter amendment was initiated by a petitioners’ committee, official petition forms shall not be provided. The secretary of state, attorney general, and commissioner of the department of revenue administration shall specify their objections in writing to the municipal clerk and to the petitioners’ committee if relative to a charter amendment initiated by such petitioners’ committee, within the period of time allowed for review and shall offer recommendations for changes in language which would correct any inconsistencies they may find in the proposed charter or charter amendment to be voted upon. Failure to specify objections to a proposed charter or charter amendment under this section shall constitute approval by the secretary of state, attorney general, or the commissioner of the department of revenue administration.

230:5 Referendum Procedure; Public Water Supplies. Amend RSA 485:14-a, I to read as follows:

I. Upon the written application of the aggregate of 10 percent of the registered voters in all of the towns served by a water system, presented to the clerk of the town owning the water system at least 90 days before the day prescribed for an annual town meeting or city election, the clerk shall forward a copy of the petition to each town served by the water system. Upon receipt of the petition, the selectmen of the town shall insert on the warrant or the official ballot the following question: “Shall fluoride be used in the public water system?” Beside this question shall be printed the word “yes” and the word “no” with the proper boxes for the voter to indicate his or her choice. If a majority of [the registered voters] those voting in a water system that serves multiple towns does not approve the use of fluoride in the public water system, no fluoride shall be introduced into the public water system for said towns. After such popular referendum, the selectmen shall not insert an article relative to the use of fluoride in the public water system in the warrant nor shall such question be inserted on the official ballot for a minimum period of 3 years from the date of the last popular referendum and only upon written application at that time of not less than the aggregate of 10 percent of the registered voters of all of the towns.

230:6 Referendum Procedure; Public Water Supplies. Amend RSA 31:17-a to read as follows:

31:17-a Referendum. Upon the written application of 10 percent of the registered voters in a town, presented to the selectmen or one of them at least 15 days before the day prescribed for an annual town meeting, the selectmen shall insert in their warrant for such meeting an article relative to the use of fluoride in the public water system for said town. If the town has an official ballot, the town clerk shall insert on such ballot the following question: “Shall fluoride be used in the public water system?” Beside this question shall be printed the word “yes” and the word “no” with the proper boxes for the voter to indicate his or her choice. If a majority of [the registered voters] those voting in a water system that serves one municipality does not approve the use of fluoride in the public water system, no fluoride shall be introduced into the public water system for said town; or if fluoride has prior to said vote, been introduced, such use shall be discontinued until such time as the [registered voters of the town shall, by majority vote,] majority of those voting in the town approve the use of fluoride. After such popular referendum, the selectmen shall not insert an article relative to the use of fluoride in the public water system in the warrant nor shall such question be inserted on the official ballot for a minimum period of 3 years from the date of the last popular referendum and only upon written application at that time of not less than 10 percent of the registered voters of said town. The procedure for a referendum on the use of fluoride in a town that is part of public water system serving more than one municipality shall be the procedure in RSA¬†485:14-a.

230:7 Public Water Supplies. Amend RSA 44:16 to read as follows:

44:16 Public Water Supplies. Upon the written application of 10 percent of the registered voters in any city, presented to the city clerk prior to the municipal election, the city clerk shall insert on the ballot to be used at said election the following question: “Shall fluoride be used in the public water system?” Beside this question shall be printed the word “yes” and the word “no” with the proper boxes for the voter to indicate his or her choice. If a majority of [the registered voters] those voting in a water system that serves one municipality at said election does not approve the use of fluoride in the public water system for said city, no fluoride shall be introduced into the public water system. If fluoride has, prior to said vote, been so introduced, such use shall be discontinued until such time as the [registered voters of the city shall, by majority vote,] majority of those voting in the town approve the use of such fluoride. After such popular referendum, the city clerk shall not insert the aforementioned question relative to the use of fluoride in the public water system on the ballot to be used at the municipal election for a minimum period of 3 years from the date of the last popular referendum, and only upon written application at that time of not less than 10 percent of the registered voters of said city. The procedure for a referendum on the use of fluoride in a city that is part of a water system serving more than one municipality shall be the procedure in RSA 485:14-a.

230:8 Public Water. Amend RSA 52:23 to read as follows:

52:23 Public Water. Upon the written application of 10 percent of the registered voters in any village water district, presented to the commissioners or one of them at least 15 days before the day prescribed for an annual meeting of the district, the commissioners shall insert in their warrant for such meeting an article relative to the use of fluoride in the water system for said district, and the district clerk shall prepare a ballot for said meeting with the following question: “Shall fluoride be used in the district water system?” Beside the question shall be printed the word “yes” and the word “no” with the proper boxes for the voter to indicate his or her choice. If a majority of [the registered voters] those voting in a water system that serves only one municipality does not approve the use of fluoride in the district water system, no fluoride shall be introduced into the district water system; or if fluoride has, prior to said vote, been so introduced, such use shall be discontinued until such time as the [registered voters of the district shall, by majority vote,] majority of those voting in the town approve of the use of fluoride. After such popular referendum, the commissioners shall not insert an article relative to the use of fluoride in the district water system in the warrant nor shall the district clerk prepare such a ballot for a minimum period of 3 years from the date of the last popular referendum of the district and only upon written application at that time of not less than 10¬†percent of the registered voters of said district. The procedure for a referendum on the use of fluoride in a village district that is part of a water system serving more than one municipality shall be the procedure in RSA 485:14-a.

230:9 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Approved; June 20, 2008

Effective Date: August 19, 2008

Links

HB1196 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB1196 Revision: 11398 Date: Jan. 1, 2008, midnight

Docket