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Bill would allow cities to ignore federal rules

PHOENIX — An Arizona Senate committee has approved a bill that would allow
cities and towns to enter restricted federal land without permission in
emergencies.

The Committee on Public Safety approved House Bill 2541 with a 3-2 vote on
Wednesday.

Republican bill sponsor Kelly Townsend of Mesa says she was inspired 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. She says local
authorities should have the right to go in where needed without being granted
approval first in cases of emergency.

The House of Representatives voted down the bill earlier this month but later
passed it when it was brought back for reconsideration. House attorneys have
said it is likely unconstitutional.

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