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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A bill that would make it a felony to bid at a land-lease auction with no intent to pay has passed a House committee and now moves on to the full chamber.
House Bill 437, which passed a legislative panel on Tuesday, comes following a federal oil and gas drilling lease auction in December that was disrupted by a University of Utah student who objected to the plan.
Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, sponsored the bill, which focuses on intent and doesn't address people who might unintentionally fail to pay for winning bids.
Conviction of the third-degree felony would carry a minimum mandatory $7,500 fine.
The bill applies to any competitive lease sale involving property for natural resource or agricultural production.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)