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Veto-proof margins swayed Haslam to sign annexation bill

April 20th, 2014 8:08 pm by Hank Hayes

Veto-proof margins swayed Haslam to sign annexation bill

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam had three options when legislation banning forced annexations by municipalities arrived at his desk a few days ago.

Haslam, a Republican and former Knoxville mayor, could sign the bill, let it become law without his signature or veto it.

He signed it.

It apparently wasn't a complicated decision.

"Throughout the process we were deferred to the will of legislature, and (the legislation) passed both houses overwhelmingly," Haslam administration spokeswoman Laura Herzog said of the governor's decision.

Indeed, the bill appeared veto proof by passing in the state Senate by a 27-1 vote and in the House by 85 to 4.

During a meeting last January, Tri-Cities governments urged Northeast Tennessee lawmakers to oppose any legislation limiting or restricting the annexation ability of cities.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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