Latest Reason Nation is Laughing at Arizona: Bill That Aims to Take Half of State From Feds

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
melvin al tucson.JPG
The federal government owns 42 percent of Arizona, and State Senator Al Melvin wants to take that land and give it to the people of Arizona. Experts say Arizona doesn't have the power.

The Arizona Legislature is moving ahead with a bill that aims to take the state's federal lands and give them to the people of Arizona, despite exactly zero chance such a plan could work.

If the nation isn't laughing at Arizona, state lawmakers obviously wouldn't be happy.

Not content to be the butt of jokes because of their rabidly anti-illegal-immigrant, pro-gun mentality, conservative lawmakers decided to open the can of yee-haw even further this year.

The thinking by sponsoring senator Al Melvin, R-Tucson, goes something like this: The dang feds don't know how to manage the 42 percent of Arizona they own, so we'll just take it, thank you very much.

Utah's lawmakers recently passed a similar measure that now awaits the governor's signature.



Melvin's SB 1332, which passed the state Senate last week, is now wending its way through the House. Melvin didn't return a message we left him today.

Neither did House Speaker Andy Tobin, who apparently loves this bill so much he placed it into the House Judiciary and Rules committees yesterday. The bill's scheduled for its next public hearing before the Judiciary committee, in Hearing Room Four at 8 a.m. on March 15.

Joseph Feller, an Arizona State University law professor, told CBS News last week that the state has no power to grab federal lands -- and should know that, because it's tried unsuccessfully to do the same thing in the past.

The bill follows a tradition in the Arizona Legislature of trying to pass faux laws that emphasize states' rights. Back in 1995 the state legalized freon, which had been banned in the United States and around the world because it helps destroy the planet's ozone layer.

The legislation can't be called useless, though: Clearly, it's designed to pump up right-wing support. Conservative lawmakers must feel they'll get more contributions merely for supporting it.

Not that left-wingers are immune from this sort of political game. In 2010, Democratic lawmaker Ed Ableser forwarded a bill designed to lobby the U.S. government to apologize for behind-the-scenes work on the 1973 military coup in Argentina. The big difference between that and the federal lands bill, of course, is that Ableser's bill never made it out of committee, while SB 1332 may well be landing on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer in a few weeks.


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9 comments
Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

What's so funny about getting back it's own land?   I can't see how that could make the state the laughing stock of the country.   That's an ignorant statement and one the NewTimes makes often.   It's probably beyond the scope of the propaganda school of thought.   Exactly what does the state get out of the Fed owning so much or even any of it's land?    The Fed has no business owning land.    

jpo321
jpo321

When you have the mentality that there really shouldn't be sovereign states then this all makes sense. Leftists want to erode state's rights and put everything under the Fed. And eventually, of course, put the Fed under the U.N. So there are no state's rights, state property. There's the collective.

interloper
interloper

 "The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules
and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to
the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so
construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any
particular State."

But then the U.S. Constitution is just a gawddamn piece of paper

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

 Yeah Walter, and they could re-name the Tonto National forest after people like you. Henceforth, it will be known as the Redneck Pecker Woods.

Gene the Dancing Machine
Gene the Dancing Machine

Let me get this straight, these clowns can't even keep our state parks and restrooms open but they think they can better manage federal lands......ROFLMAO!

teknik1200
teknik1200

they  raided the budget for the state parks a couple years back.  you'd hear more about these things if the "STOP TEH INVASORS!!!11!!11!!" clamoring around would simmer down.

Bobunf
Bobunf

The State of Arizona is currently accepting charity from the Indians to properly maintain some of their State Parks, which otherwise would be closed, decaying and subject to un-restricted vandalism.  

The legislator should consider turning land over to the Feds so that the parks can be properly taken care of when Indian charity runs out.   And so that money given for the parks stays with the parks, rather than funding more private prisons for fun and profit.  

Melvin is pandering to a set of crazies.

Rob
Rob

 Beyond the realities (like Kpehjer noted), Walt.......

Arizona can't even take care of it's own state parks.  Half are shut down and the income they've managed to bring in has been swept by the legislature to build more prisons.

How in the hell would the state manage to maintain - and, maintain it PROPERLY, since that is the reason Atomic Al speaks of - them when they can't even deal with what they have?

Kpehjer94
Kpehjer94

could it be that the state sold it to the feds??????? SOMETHING LIKE OUR DUMB ASS GOVENOR SELLING STATE BUILDINGS? ???

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