Alaska State House Brushes Off Constitutional Claims, ‘Orders’ Massive Federal Land Transfer
GOP: Grandstanding on taxpayer dollars for the court costs once more.
Rejecting the advice of its legal staff, the Alaska House of Representatives approved a bill Monday ordering the federal government to hand over most federal land in Alaska to the state by Dec. 31, 2016.
House lawmakers said the federal government would be allowed to keep national parks, such as Denali, but not national monuments, preserves and areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
Democratic critics said the plan introduced by House Speaker Mike Chenault, a Nikiski Republican, was a waste of time and a guaranteed loser in court.
“We don’t have the money to litigate a bill that is 100 percent unconstitutional,” said Anchorage Democratic Rep. Les Gara.
Fellow Anchorage Democratic Rep. Andy Josephson said he would be violating his oath of office if he backed the bill.