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13 March 2015

Georgia House Passes City of South Fulton Legislation

Shortly before noon on Crossover Day 2015, the day a bill must pass at least one chamber to have a chance at becoming law this year, the Georgia House gave approval to House Bill 514; legislation that would authorize a referendum on cityhood in unincorporated south Fulton County.

While the bill passed 148 - 21, it was not without controversy on the House floor.

State Representative Pat Gardner (D - Atlanta) spoke against the House Bill 514, saying unincorporated south Fulton already had a chance to vote on creating a new city.

"This vote failed miserably years ago," Rep. Gardner told the House.

In 2007, the first city of South Fulton referendum was defeated at the ballot box, with 85% of voters saying no.

"There are people who would prefer being annexed into the City of Atlanta," Gardner continued. "We do have a local bill to annex a portion of the area that would like to be part of the City of Atlanta."

Rep. Garder is the author of House Bill 586; a bill that would give residents of the Sandtown community the final say on annexing into Atlanta.

"It gives the people an opportunity to choose," Rep. Gardner said of House Bill 586. "They have never had an opportunity to have a referendum on annexing into Atlanta."

House Bill 514 now heads to the Georgia Senate, where a similar bill died in 2014.