Utah lawmakers OK resolution pushing for public lands

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers have backed a resolution urging the state to be prepared to sue the U.S. government if Washington leaders don't start handing over federal land to the state.

Members of a House natural resources committee on Friday approved the proposal, despite concern from one lawmaker that it could be costly and hurt the environment.

The proposal previously included stricter language, stipulating that if Congress or the White House do not make major moves to hand over control of public lands by December, then the state should appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Changes to the now-softened proposal included removing the December deadline.

The sponsor, Orem Republican Rep. Keven Stratton, says he made changes because he thinks the Republican-controlled Congress and White House may be willing to hand over the land to Utah.

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