The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would end annexation by ordinance in Tennessee.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Carter, goes before the state House on Monday.
The Senate bill was sponsored by Senator Bo Watson of Hixson.
Sabrena Turner, Republican candidate for the District 7 seat on the Hamilton County Commission, praised passage of the “Right to Vote” Annexation bill by the Senate.
She said, "After years of Tennessee citizens being denied a voice in the annexation process, we are one step closer to ensuring the rights of property owners are protected by allowing them to vote on annexation through referendum. For many years, the Hon. Bobby Wood fought in the legislature to end forced annexation, and thankfully, Rep. Mike Carter has carried on this fight and was able to lead a statewide effort that helped make this day possible.”
Ms. Turner, who was a founding member of Hamilton County Residents Against Annexation (HCRAA), said, “This change in state law is a breath of fresh air to residents that have been threatened with forced annexation. Even after lawsuits filed on behalf of citizens by HCRAA stopped further annexation efforts by Mayor Ron Littlefield, the threat was still there that annexation could continue if the city of Chattanooga decided to take that route. This law will remove the threat of forced annexation – once and for all.
"I urge our state representatives to vote in favor of the people’s right to vote on this critical issue and send Rep. Mike Carter’s bill to Gov. Haslam so he can sign this legislation into state law.”