Norris Withdraws Memphis Annexation Bills

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris said Thursday that he will withdraw two controversial annexation bills after the state attorney general opined that both are likely unconstitutional because they would apply only in Shelby County, reports the Commercial Appeal.
“As anticipated, the attorney general has confirmed these bills are constitutionally suspect. They will be withdrawn during next Monday’s meeting of the state Senate,” Norris said.
Norris, R-Collierville, last week pulled the bills from their second of three required readings while he awaited an advisory opinion by Tennessee Atty. Gen. Robert Cooper.
One bill would remove a large swath of East Shelby County from Memphis’ annexation reserve area; the other would require annexations initiated by any municipality in Shelby County to win approval, in referendums, of a majority of people being annexed and voting in the referendum.
The bills have prompted the Memphis City Council to initiate annexation proceedings toward the Fisherville area containing more than 17,000 people east of Cordova to the Fayette County line. That move is likely to be halted if Norris withdraws the bills.
The attorney general’s opinion says both bills are “constitutionally suspect” because they attempt to alter the statewide law that governs municipal annexation but only in one county, Shelby.

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