St. George organizers updating where bills stand in Louisiana Legislature

St. George leaders are hosting what they say could be their last public meeting before they turn in the petition to put the proposed new city to a vote.

Organizers within the effort will provide a progress report and answers questions from the public.

Lionel Rainey, a spokesman with the effort, said an exact count of the signatures will not be disclosed at the meeting. But he said the group is close to hitting their 18,000 signature mark. “If we keep at this pace, we’ll have the signatures within the next four to eight weeks,” he said.

St. George officials must turn in a petition with one-fourth of the registered voters in the boundaries of the proposed city by July 28 in order to have a November election. Only voters within the proposed city will be able to weigh in on the issue.

A bill is making its way through the legislature that could put a halt to the effort if the group fails to meet the November election deadline.

Currently, state law allows for an unlimited window of time to collect signatures to petition for incorporation.

Senate Bill 674, sponsored by Sen. Ben Nevers, intends to put a two year moratorium on incorporation efforts. St. George organizers initially thought they would be given until the end of the year before the moratorium impacted them, but the bill was amended in a Senate committee to bump up their deadline.

SB 674 is on the agenda for the Louisiana House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

The St. George meeting is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Woodlawn Baptist Church on Tuesday.