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Governor Pleased with Court Decision on University Lands Bill

January 10, 2004
Saturday - 1:00 am

Governor Frank Murkowski stated Friday that he was pleased with the decision of the Alaska Supreme Court upholding the legality of the University Lands Bill of 2000.

The University Lands Bill grants the University of Alaska some 250,000 acres of state land for resource development. The University of Alaska was established in 1915 as a land grant college. At that time the University received 111,000 acres from the federal government which was a far cry than which was initially proposed in the Alaska Statehood Act.

The University Lands Bill was sponsored by former Senator Robin Taylor (R-Wrangell) and passed by the legislature in 2000. Governor Knowles vetoed it. In response, the legislature voted to override the veto in 2000 with a 2/3 vote. The Knowles Administration claimed that the bill was an appropriation and required a 34 override vote by the legislature. In June 2000, the Legislative Council took legal action against the veto claiming that the University Lands Bill was not an appropriation.

"We are very pleased that the litigation has been resolved. I've asked the Commissioner of Natural Resources to move forward with the process to provide additional land to the University of Alaska. DNR will work with the University in the months ahead on a process and schedule to implement the land conveyance."



Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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