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Sen. Campbell Wants Governor To Include Annexation Bill In Special Session

Texas Senate
Sen. Donna Campbell authored Senate Bill 715 which called for property owners to vote before they could be annexed by a city.

Republican State Sen. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels is angry a filibuster killed her annexation bill as the legislative session came to a close.  Campbell is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to revive the annexation legislative in a special session.

The filibuster that killed the bill took place late Sunday night. State Sen. Jose Menendez, a San Antonio Democrat, talked for more than two hours to run out the clock for passage of Senate Bill 715.

The bill would have required a vote by property owners before they could be annexed into a city.

Killing the bill was a top priority for the City of San Antonio which argued it needed the authority to annex areas near military bases like Camp Bullis to ensure development doesn’t interfere with military operations.

Menendez said protecting area bases is especially important because President Trump has called for another round of BRAC- that’s the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.  The President wants bases examined to see which ones should be closed.

“Our bases could be in danger.  With 80,000 jobs on the line and a $49 billion impact to San Antonio I couldn’t sit idly by.  I had to stand up for my community,” Menendez explained.

San Antonio area homeowners along the I-10 corridor claim they’re being targeted for annexation, not because they’re near a military base, but because their upscale properties would provide taxable revenue for the City of San Antonio.

Sen. Campbell says those homeowners have a right to vote on whether they should be annexed, because annexation will increase their property taxes. 

“To take down that bill is to take down the voice of the people, the right of the people to vote,” Campbell said.  “And who was the winner? Cities.  Urban planners.  Central planners.”

Campbell says she’s not done with this fight.

“I would love to see the Governor put that on a special call.”

She’s asking Abbott to include the annexation bill in any special session he would call to finish business not addressed in the session that just ended.


Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.