The bill-laden month of April

April is a busy time in Raleigh. State legislators have introduced more than 1,000 bills this session, only 18 of which had been ratified at this writing. Meanwhile, the General Assembly is checking off bill-filing deadlines and jamming committee schedules with hearings on this session’s crop of proposed legislation.

Here are a few pending bills that might affect Asheville and Buncombe County:

HB 550 (Asheville-Buncombe Regional Park Authority): Would establish the Asheville-Buncombe Regional Park Authority to provide parks and recreational facilities and hold jurisdiction. Passed first reading; referred to Committee on Government.
Primary sponsors: Buncombe County Reps. Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever, both Democrats. Republican Tim Moffitt co-sponsored.

HB 552 (Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority): Would create an Airport Authority with seven members, as specified. Two would be registered voters from Asheville appointed by City Council: one with experience in the travel-and-tourism industry, one with finance/accounting experience. Two would be Buncombe County registered voters appointed by the Board of Commissioners: one with aviation experience and one with marketing and business-development expertise. Two would be registered Henderson County voters appointed by that Board of Commissioners: one with construction or facilities experience and one with experience in logistics. Those six would appoint the seventh member. No elected public official could serve on the Authority. Passed first reading; referred to Government Committee. Primary sponsors: Moffitt, Keever and Fisher (all Buncombe County) and Henderson County Republican Chuck McGrady.

HB 562 (Asheville/Woodfin Boundary Adjustments): Would annex to the city of Asheville and the town of Woodfin certain state-owned properties and allow the city of Asheville (with approval of property owner and town of Woodfin) to annex any part of Woodfin totally surrounded by the city.
Passed first reading; referred to Government Committee. Primary sponsor: Fisher.

HB 531 (Involuntary Annexation Reform): Would establish a uniform statewide process for involuntary annexation and rewrite sections of state annexation law, specifically annexation by petition. Passed first reading; referred to Rules/Calendar/Operations Committee. Co-sponsor: Moffitt.

— Nelda Holder can be reached at nholder@gmail.com.

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