Massachusetts law about town meetings

Laws, rules, and web sources on Massachusetts town meeting law.

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Table of Contents

Best bet

Citizen's guide to town meetings, Secretary of the Commonwealth (2008).
"This booklet outlines the forms and procedures used in Massachusetts Town Meetings." Includes procedures and frequently asked questions such as who may speak, types of town meetings and other topics.

Massachusetts laws

Massachusetts Constitution, Amendment LXXXIX 
Draws the distinction between cities and towns, and allows for home-rule charters.

MGL c.39, §§ 9-18 Municipal government; city government and town meetings

MGL c.43A Standard form of representative town meeting government

Rules of procedure

Most Massachusetts town meetings use one or both of the following:

Robert's Rules of Order

Town Meeting Time

Web sources

About town meeting, Lexington.
A nice explanation of how a representative town meeting works in one town.

Guides to citizens' petitions for town meetings
Guides from the towns of Hamilton, Hingham, Hull, Lexington, and Weston.

Information about the town meeting process, Concord.  
An introduction to the open town meeting process in one town.

Massachusetts Moderators Association
Provides information for both moderators and the general public, including informational videos and downloadable materials.

Updated guidance on holding meetings pursuant to the Act Extending Certain COVID-19 Measures, Mass. Attorney General, regarding St.2023, c.2, which extended the temporary provisions regarding remote and hybrid meetings in COVID-19 Order #1 to March 31, 2025.

Contact   for Massachusetts law about town meetings

Last updated: February 21, 2024

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