Bill description: HB 128 repeals and replaces a section of code regarding how cities may annex private lands.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?
House Bill 128 increases government transparency by clarifying a standard procedure by which a city has to notify landowners of its intent to annex lands. This procedure includes an annexation plan, notification of the right to give or withhold consent, and more. Currently, most of this procedure is included in the section of code that would be repealed by this bill; however, the current code only states this procedure in bits and pieces throughout the chapter. This bill would group the entire procedure together, under the same subsection of code, to provide greater clarity.
This bill would also increase government accountability by repealing the current three categorizations of annexation and replacing it with only one route to annexation: when “two-thirds (⅔) of the landowners consent to annexation.” This only allows cities to annex lands when they have a supermajority of consent from landowners.