- The state legislature passed SB 1332 in 2012, which would have demanded that Congress turn all public lands over to the state or else it would begin taxing them in 2015. However, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed it, stating that she was “concerned about the lack of certainty this legislation could create for individuals holding existing leases on national lands. Given the difficult economic times, I do not believe this is the time to add to that uncertainty.”
- Despite the Governor’s veto, state land seizure proponents did not lose hope and ran a ballot measure in November 2012 that would have turned public lands over to Arizona. However, Proposition 120 was soundly defeated, 68 percent to 32 percent.
- The state legislature passed a similar bill in the 2015 session. HB 2176 gave Congress until 2022 to turn over public lands to the state, at which point the Arizona attorney general could file a lawsuit against the federal government if Congress had failed to comply. Like its predecessors, HB 2176 was vetoed by Governor Doug Ducey.
- No land seizure bills have passed out of the state legislature in 2016.
- Arizona’s Enabling Act states “That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated and ungranted public lands lying within the boundaries thereof…”
Click here for more details about how Arizonans feel about efforts to seize their public lands.