CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 4222, to provide for the conveyance of certain land inholdings owned by the United States to the Tucson Unified School District and to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. The bill was introduced on March 20, 2012, by Rep. Rual Grijalva (D-AZ) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark up and reported the bill as amended by unanimous consent on April 25, 2012.
H.R. 4222 would require the Secretary of the Interior hold in trust two parcels of land, each approximately 10 acres in size, for use by the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Arizona. Land to be held in trust includes 10 acres of federal lands currently held by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 10 acres of land currently held by the Tucson Unified School District if the district gives up its possessory interest in the land. The bill would prohibit the tribe from conducting gaming activities on the lands held in trust under this bill.
According to House Report 112-510, H.R. 4222 would provide for the conveyance of one 10-acre parcel of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, one parcel of BLM land to the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), and two parcels totaling 10 acres from the TUSD back to the BLM and then to the Tribe. The TUSD received the two parcels as part of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act of 1926 (RPPA) but have not used, nor do they intend to use, the land. The Tribe has an interest in obtaining the parcels to develop a recreational area. The TUSD identified BLM lands it would like to develop as a playground adjacent to the Hohokam School. The Pascua Yaqui tribe is located in Pima County, near Tucson, Ariz. The tribe's lands are a combination of lands held in trust by the Interior Department and lands purchased and held in fee by the tribe. The tribe operates the Casino del Sol on its lands; construction of a hotel and golf course have surrounded parcels of land that are not part of the tribal lands. In order to expand the golf course it is constructing, the Pascua Yaqui tribe would like to incorporate two parcels of land, approximately 10 acres each. One is currently owned by the Tucson Unified School District; the other is held by the federal government.
According to CBO, “implementing the bill would have no significant impact on the federal budget.”