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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Senators Thom Goolsby and David Rouzer unveiled new bills Thursday to give property owners a chance to avoid becoming part of a city they don't want to join.
Goolsby announced his plans to move forward with House Bill 180,which was introduced by Representative Carolyn Justice. The bill gives the General Assembly the opportunity to "address and decide the extent to which reform should apply to current annexation ordinances."
The bill passed the NC House last year and both senators say they're confident the 31 Republicans in the State Senate will pass it during short session this month.
Since House Bill 180 is a local bill it does not need the governor's signature to become law nor can it be vetoed by the governor.
Annexation has been an ongoing debate in New Hanover County as local governments try to force property owners out.
One of the most well known fights is in Monkey Junction. A Wake County Superior Court Judge ruled in March the petition process allowing property owners to overturn annexation is unconstitutional – giving residents less of a voice. Goolsby, however, hopes to change that.
According to Goolsby, the bill will forcibly stop the annexation of Monkey Junction until the end of the year, allowing the Senate more time to develop a comprehensive plan of how to handle annexation and its constitutionality.
Goolsby said they are fighting for the people who were so vocal during last year's session.
"You came up, we heard you, we
kept our promises, we did it," said Goolsby. "We hit a bump in the road, but we're going to keep
going, we're going to keep our promises and that's what citizens are supposed
The comprehensive plan will go even further than forced annexation - it will include satellite annexations, like the recent one in New Hanover County that divided local governments.
Goolsby said this bill is the next step, but no necessarily the end because there's always chance for an appeal.
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