An Arizona appeals court on Wednesday considers whether to block a judge’s ruling that a state agency will effectively scuttle most of its funding.
The Land Department is trying to block implementation of a ruling that it’s unconstitutional to use trust land sale proceeds to pay for running the department instead of having it flow into schools and public institutions.
The situation results from a legal challenge to a 2009 budget-balancing law.
The department administers 9.2 million acres of trust land, and Land Commissioner Maria Baier (BY’-ur) says her department is faced with having to reduce its staff of 120 to just 14 by Dec. 31.
Baier says processing of requests for permits and rights-of-way would slow dramatically.