Arizona

HB 2210 – Public lands; ownership; control; litigation

Sponsored by: Rep. Mark Finchem
This bill "would mandate legal analysis of a case Utah has prepared to challenge for public lands in that state. If the attorney general determines the case has merit, the bill authorizes Arizona to join the lawsuit."

Short Summary

The bill “would mandate legal analysis of a case Utah has prepared to challenge for public lands in that state. If the attorney general determines the case has merit, the bill authorizes Arizona to join the lawsuit.”  [Brandon Loomis, “Lawmakers want Arizona to consider taking control of public lands from feds,” The Arizona Republic, 01/24/18]

General Description

“An act directing the Attorney General to commence an action to attempt to gain ownership or control of the public lands within this state.” [HB 2210, Arizona House of Representatives]

Bill Sponsor(s)

Rep. Mark Finchem

Detailed Bill Summary 

“The bill is based on a legal theory that the Utah Legislature has embraced: that statehood carries the constitutional promise of “equal footing,” and that this implies a state would control its own lands the way older states in the East do. It also contends that the Constitution’s framers gave the federal government land-management powers only to regulate disposal of government lands – not permanent retention.” [Brandon Loomis, “Lawmakers want Arizona to consider taking control of public lands from feds,” The Arizona Republic, 01/24/18]

Finchem said that he is just “asking for the attorney general to tell us if he agrees with Utah’s attorneys.” [Brandon Loomis, “Lawmakers want Arizona to consider taking control of public lands from feds,” The Arizona Republic, 01/24/18]

Current Status

01/25/18- Voted out of the House LARA Committee. [Bill History for HB2210]

Relevant Comments by Public Officials, Public Lands Groups, or Special Interest Groups in Arizona

“This is a civil-rights case,” said Rep. Mark Finchem, who argues that the feds manage lands poorly and inefficiently, robbing Arizona of a chance at development and revenue collection on them. [Associated Press, “Bill Would Renew Battle Over Federal Land in Arizona,” U.S. News & World Report, 01/29/18]

Next Issue

HB 2003 - coal mining; TPT; repeal