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Arizona Supreme Court to rule on raiding trust land money

The Arizona Supreme will review lower courts’ rulings that said the state cannot divert money from proceeds of sales of trust land to help pay for running the Land Department.

The Supreme Court’s order Wednesday says the justices will hear oral arguments in the case.

A Court of Appeals panel last November upheld a trial judge’s earlier decision that it was unconstitutional to use trust land proceeds for purposes other than for schools and public institutions.

The Arizona Constitution and federal law restricts the use of proceeds from trust land that Arizona received from the federal government at statehood to put in trust..

A lawsuit filed by education advocates challenged a 2009 budget-balancing law allowing some money from selling trust land to be used for department operations.

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