Pair Of Forced Annexation Bills Head To NC House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate has given its final approval to bills altering recently approved laws on forced annexation that have been challenged in court.

The senators voted Monday evening largely along party lines in favor of two bills pushed by the Republican-led chamber after a judge struck down a new method for residents to block involuntary annexations.

One bill would replace the new process requiring at least 60 percent of landowners in the area being annexed to file petitions to stop the boundary expansion with a traditional referendum requiring a simple majority. Another bill would cancel contentious annexations by nine towns and cities.

The measures now move to the House. Lobbyists representing the state's municipalities say the bills would damage economic development by thwarting ordered growth in towns and cities.

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