BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A judge has ruled that 2017 state legislation that blocked a southern Indiana city's attempt to annex 9,500 acres (3,845 hectares) of property is unconstitutional.
The city of Bloomington sued after the Indiana House approved a budget bill including an amendment that blocked its annexation efforts and barred the city from revisiting the plan for five years. Frank Nardi, a Brown County magistrate and special judge in the case, ruled in the city's favor Thursday.
The city had spent more than $770,000 to prepare for the annexation before the law was passed. The state argued, however, that the annexation plan was too large and didn't offer enough chance for feedback from residents.
The suit said the bill violated the state constitution's prohibition on "special legislation" and unfairly targeted the city.