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Az House kills bill to divert land conservation funds

A landscape in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management)

The Arizona House has voted down a proposal to use $40 million from a land-conservation fund for forest restoration and historical and cultural resources.

The fund was created in 1998 for purchasing state trust land for conservation purposes. It is shielded by a constitutional protection for voter-approved laws.

Voters in 2010 overwhelmingly opposed a ballot measure proposing to use the funds to fill a budget shortfall.

Republican Rep. John Kavanagh said that if the Legislature diverted that money now, it would be “slapping the face of the voters” who wanted to preserve that fund.

The measure failed by a lopsided margin Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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