Push for "City of St. George" could return, but with obstacles
BATON ROUGE - The City of St. George movement could return this summer, but a proposed bill would make it very difficult for a new city to form.
Representative Ted James will reintroduce legislation that would allow all voters in the East Baton Rouge Parish to vote on an incorporation. He said he wants the bill for fairness in the parish.
"This is not anti-anybody," James said. "This is pro-East Baton Rouge Parish."
The bill would require any proposed or future incorporations to be approved by the entire parish. Right now, if the St. George movement were to go to voters, only people living in the proposed St. George area could vote.
"When this issue was brought forth a few years ago," James explained, "I heard from countless people across East Baton Rouge Parish that questioned, why didn't they get an opportunity to vote, because their tax dollars will be impacted by it."
Opponents said this is yet another road block. St. George failed in 2015 when the movement did not officially get enough signatures to make an election ballot, about 71 signatures short after verification from the Registrar of Voters office.
Since then, St. George leaders have vowed to be back. They said that could happen this summer.
"The people in that area, their only road block is getting the requisite amount of signatures, and I will not stand in the way of that," James acknowledged. "If they get the signatures, of course I will advocate against it, but their only road block they should be concerned about is getting the signatures since they failed the last time.
WBRZ News 2 reached out to all St. George representatives. Only one responded with "no comment."