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Bill letting cities ignore federal rules defeated

The Arizona House has rejected a bill allowing local towns and cities to override the federal government and access federal land during emergencies.

Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend of Mesa says she was inspired to write House Bill 2541 by the battle between the city of Tombstone and the federal government over access to repair its water supply system in the Coronado National Forest.

But the bill lost support because House attorneys said it was in conflict with federal law and likely unconstitutional. It failed on a 27-28 vote Tuesday.

The bill would have applied to governor-designated states of emergencies.

Democrats said the bill could put cities and towns at risk of being sued by the federal government.

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