Campbell to Re-Introduce Anti-Annexation Bill in Special Session

It looks like July will be a hot month for the City of San Antonio, as it will try again to block a bill in the Legislature that would mandate that people to be annexed into the city first approve that annexation, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) tells News Radio 1200 WOAI that she will re-introduce her annexation bill in the Special Session set to begin July 18th. 

 "Our nation was founded on the right to determine who governs us, yet current law allowes cities to determine who they will govern," Campbell said.  "This is backwards and its why we need annexation reform."

Gov. Greg Abbott has made Campbell's bill out of his priorities in the upcoming Special Session.

"Cities abusing their authority with forced annexation practices is nothing more than a form of taxation without representation," Abbott said.  "Cities that annex property without the approval from those affected is piracy by government, and must end."

The City is attempting to annex a wide area of fast growing northwest Bexar County.  

The City says, since counties don't have zoning authority, annexation by the City is the only way to protect Camp Bullis from the rapid commercialization and industrialization underway in the area.

But annexation opponents told the House MIlitary Affairs Committee at a special hearing in San Antonio this week that much of the area to be annexed is ten miles or more from Camp Bullis, and the annexation is nothing but a 'money grab' by the city, to collect property taxes from an upscale area.

One veteran pointed out that military bases don't close due to civilian development, they close because the mission they were established to fulfill changes.

The anti annexation bill was poised to pass in the Regular Session, until it was killed by State Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) with a last minute filibuster.  Filibusters are far less likely in special sessions, because lawmakers know the governor can simply call them back for another special session.

Among the compromises being floated include placing annexation on hold if residents and commercial property owners in the area voluntarily agree to restrictions the City says are needed to protect Camp Bullis, and allowing not just the people to be annexed, but the entire city, to vote on whether to bring new areas into the city limits.

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