After Tuesday’s House Judiciary II Committee recessed yesterday without a vote on a year long ban of forced annexation, there were some heavy "negotiations" underway. Reports of a screaming match in the office of the Speaker between unknown parties were soon followed by a reconvened session of the committee.
Members were presented with a 10 month moratorium instead of a year while larger cities were not exempted from the process. The effect of shortening the moratorium would allow cities to continue forcible annexation by April, 2009. Given that the next legislature will only convene in January,2009, three months is hardly enough time to consider any well thought out changes to the way municipalities grow against the wishes of new citizens.
The moratorium still has a long way to go. The full House would have to approve the measure and so would the Senate in what is rapidly turning into the closing days of the short session. Despite all the obstacles in the way, a dedicated group of soon-to-be/recently annexed citizen activists continue to defy the conventional wisdom that you can’t fight city hall. Their dedication to making a difference in the legislative process is a guide for anyone who is dissatisfied with how government impacts their lives.