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House committee fails federal lands handover bill

Al Melvin

A state House committee has killed legislation that attempts to force the federal government to give up claims to public lands in Arizona.

A majority of the land in Arizona is controlled by federal agencies, but some state lawmakers say the state would be a better manager of that land.

Tucson Republican Sen. Al Melvin sponsored the measure and says federal regulations are killing industries like mining and timber, and the state could collect more money in property taxes if some of that land is sold.

Melvin’s bill failed a review by the House Rules Committee on Monday afternoon.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed similar legislation in that state last week.

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