Orange County, NY - KJ Officials: Annexation Bills Violate NYS Law
Orange County, NY - Within three hours of the Senate vote passing legislation that could potentially hamper a proposed annexation of neighboring properties by Kiryas Joel, village officials have issued a statement saying that the two bills passed violate the New York State constitution and interfere with the village’s rights as guaranteed by state law.
“Annexations are a constitutionally enabled and prescribed authority within the exclusive jurisdiction of local governments, including villages, towns and cities,” reads the statement. “The Senate and Assembly bills intrude on this local home rule right and authority in violation of Article IX of the State constitution.”
The New York State constitution, which describes the rights of local governments in Article IX, states that county government consent is only required for annexations that affect county boundaries.
In its statement, the Village of Kiryas Joel notes that the annexation bills passed by the Senate and Assembly are the first to challenge the state’s annexation laws. The statement also observes that an annexation taking place a short distance away in Middletown has gone unchallenged by the county, but stops short of suggesting any possible motives for the vociferous opposition to the proposed Kiryas Joel expansion plan.
According to Kiryas Joel officials, the New York State Conference of Mayors has gone on record as being opposed to the two bills, which would potentially complication the annexation process for hundreds of towns and villages statewide.
Kiryas Joel officials are hopeful that Governor Cuomo will not sign the legislation that would place additional oversight on the annexation process.
“While we respect the legislative process, we know that prior to being advanced to the Governor for his consideration his counsel will scrutinize the bill for its form, merit and constitutionality.”
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