General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 30A State Administrative Procedure - Section 6 Massachusetts Register; publication of filed documents and regulations; legal effect; distribution of issues

Section 6. Documents required or authorized to be published by this section shall be printed and distributed by the state secretary in a serial publication entitled the “Massachusetts Register”. The state secretary shall contract and arrange, subject to all pertinent statutes, for the biweekly printing and distribution of the Massachusetts Register. The prices to be charged for the Massachusetts Register may be set without reference to the statutory charges for public documents fixed by chapter two hundred and sixty-two.

There shall be published in the Massachusetts Register the following documents: (1) executive orders, except those not having general applicability and legal effect or effective only against state agencies or persons in their capacity as officers, agents or employees thereof; (2) all regulations filed in accordance with section five; (3) all notices filed in accordance with sections two and three, except that the secretary may summarize the content of any notice filed; provided, however, that he indicate that the full text of the notice may be inspected and copied in the office of the state secretary during business hours; and (4) any other item or portion thereof which the state secretary deems to be of sufficient public interest.

Each issue of the Massachusetts Register shall begin with a table of contents listing the documents contained therein which shall include a brief summary for each document identifying the purpose of any proposed regulations and whether small business is likely to be substantially affected by said regulations.

Each biweekly issue shall contain all documents required or authorized to be published, filed with the state secretary up to the day fixed by the secretary as the printing deadline for that issue, except that the secretary may omit from the biweekly issue of the register any document which he deems unduly cumbersome or expensive to publish. In such cases, he shall describe the nature of the omitted document and shall publish a supplemental issue of the register containing the text of the document as soon as practicable and in any event within thirty days. Supplemental issues shall be published as the state secretary deems necessary, and shall in all ways have the full force and effect of the regular biweekly issues of the register.

Regulations other than emergency regulations, which are adopted under section two and three, shall become effective only when published in accordance with this section, or, in the case of any regulation as to which a later effective date is required by any law, or is specified in such regulation by the agency adopting the same, upon such later date or upon such publication, whichever last occurs. Emergency regulations shall become effective when filed with the state secretary, or at such later time as may be required by law or be specified therein, and shall remain in effect no longer than three months following filing except as provided in sections two and three.

The state secretary shall make available upon request of any person or group the biweekly issues of the Massachusetts Register. He shall transmit, without charge, a copy of each issue thereof to (1) the clerk of the house of representatives; (2) the clerk of the senate; (3) the house counsel and senate counsel; and (4) the state librarian.

The state secretary shall mail upon receipt of the subscription price a sheet containing the table of contents or other information sufficient to enable the reader to determine whether he wishes to purchase that issue of the register.

The publication in the Massachusetts Register of a document creates a rebuttable presumption (1) that it was duly issued, prescribed, or promulgated; (2) that all the requirements of this chapter and regulations prescribed under it relative to the document have been complied with; and (3) that the text of the regulations as published in the Massachusetts Register is a true copy of the attested regulation as filed by the agency.

For the purpose of this section and section six A the word “regulation” shall not include any regulation whose principal purpose and effect is to prescribe or approve rates chargeable for goods, services, or other things by specifically named persons and shall not include any portion of an existing publication which has been adopted as and incorporated by reference in a regulation of any agency, and which the state secretary determines is unnecessary to republish by reason of its already being reasonably available to that portion of the public affected by said agency’s activities.

The contents of the Massachusetts Register shall be judicially noticed and, without prejudice to any other mode of citation, may be cited by volume and page number.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015