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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

Senate gives OK to modified annexation bill that protects military bases

AUSTIN — Lawmakers are sending a bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that gives landowners power to vote on whether their communities are annexed by big cities such as San Antonio.

The Senate approved the measure 21-10 on Sunday evening, agreeing with changes made by the House to expand a military buffer zone meant to control development around base borders.

“It’s a huge victory,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels. “No longer will cities be able to forcibly annex anyone with the residents having a say.”

Though municipal officials had worried the bill could hamper efforts to expand city limits and control growth, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called the latest version an “acceptable compromise.”

“We are extremely grateful to our members…who fought hard to protect San Antonio’s military installations, which generate $49 billion per year for the State of Texas,” he said in a statement Sunday.

Still, not all city representatives were on board. San Antonio’s Sen. José Menéndez voted against Senate Bill 6 over worries that it could hurt a land swap between Alamo City and Converse meant to aid neighborhoods in Northeast Bexar County, including Camelot II and The Glen.

“It is critically important to me that The Glen and Camelot get services,” he said. “My concern is this bill could potentially cause problems for them to move forward.”

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott made annexation reform one of his 20 priorities for the special session that is set to conclude Wednesday. His office didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether he will sign the bill into law. An overhaul of the state’s annexation laws failed in the regular session, when Menéndez mounted a filibuster over concerns the bill didn’t adequately protect military bases.

Read the complete article here.

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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.