January 10, 2004
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: