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Lawmakers support Saugus special election

SAUGUS – The state House and Senate voted Thursday to support a Saugus homerule petition that would allow the town to hold a special June 7 election.The election is necessary if residents are to decide by a single ballot question whether to accept a one-time property tax assessment to pay for $1.2 million in snow and ice removal costs from last winter.State Sen. Thomas McGee said the bill was fast-tracked through committees and heard separately by the House and Senate earlier this month. The Joint Committee on Election Laws heard the bill on April 13 and reported back favorably on April 21.”We enacted it in the House and Senate today and it has been brought over to the governor’s office for his review and signature,” McGee said Thursday. “This is a homerule petition that authorizes Saugus to put before the voters a special one-time assessment question on the ballot. It’s a timely piece of legislation because the town needs to know by early next week.”McGee said Gov. Deval Patrick would likely review the bill at the beginning of the week.Town Manager Andrew Bisignani said the special assessment does not stay on the property tax bill. If passed, it would cost each single-family household about $80, he said.Should the measure fail, overtime for fire, police and public safety dispatchers would be drastically cut and as many as 25 teachers and school personnel laid off.

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