RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- Two bills aimed at stopping forced annexation in North Carolina cleared another hurdle tonight in Raleigh. The Senate passed both bills on their third reading. The bills now head back to the House of Representatives for final approval.
House Bill 5 passed along party lines 31-13. The bill would overturn nine annexations across the state, including Wilmington's annexation of Monkey Junction and Southport's annexation of areas outside its city limits. Both annexations had been overturned through a petition process of at least 60 percent of property owners, but the law the General Assembly passed last year was ruled unconstitutional recently by a Wake County judge.
House Bill 925 also passed along party lines 30-14. It would effectively end forced annexation across the state by requiring city's to get a majority of property owners in an annexed area to approve the move during a municipal election.
Republicans in Raleigh promised to use the current short session in the General Assembly to stop forced annexation after Wilmington and several other cities sued over the recently adopted petition law.