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RALEIGH, NC (AP) – A bill allowing people who live in unincorporated areas to vote to halt forced annexations by towns and cities will become law now that Gov. Bev Perdue has refused to sign it.

Spokesman Mark Johnson said Sunday that Perdue won’t sign the bill. She had until late Sunday to decide whether to sign or veto the bill or let it become law without her signature. In a statement, she says the bill has shortcomings and she urges legislators to reconsider the issue.

Republican legislative leaders quickly moved the referendum bill in response to a court ruling in March that struck down a procedure the General Assembly approved in 2011 by which landowners could file petitions blocking the annexation.

City boosters argue the election methods discourage healthy municipal growth.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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