H.R. 507: Pascua Yaqui Tribe Trust Land Act

H.R. 507

Pascua Yaqui Tribe Trust Land Act

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
May 6, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 6, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 507, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Trust Land Act,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on February 5, 2013 by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 507 directs the Secretary of the Interior to take two 10-acre parcels of land in Arizona into trust for the benefit of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.  Before the land is taken into trust: (1) the Tucson Unified School District must first relinquish its possessory interest in one of the parcels, and (2) the Secretary must approve and record a lease agreement between the Tribe and the School District for the construction and operation of a regional transportation facility on the Tribe’s land.  The bill also prohibits any gaming from occurring on any of the lands taken into trust.

Background

According to the Committee on Natural Resources, both parcels of land would be utilized as part of a golf course that is currently under construction by the Tribe, improving the course and increasing its chances for success.  While neither parcel of land is necessary for the construction of the golf course, if the Tribe doesn’t acquire and use the parcels the land will become useless.

According to the Committee, “the school district no longer needs the land, which it had previously received under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.”[1]  After the School District elects to relinquish their interest in the land, the land will revert back to the Bureau of Land Management.  The Secretary of the Interior will then be required to take the parcels into trust for the Tribe.  In exchange for the School District’s interest in the two parcels of land, H.R. 507 requires the Secretary to approve and record a lease agreement between the Tribe and the School District to build a new school bus facility on Tribe land.

In the 112th Congress, the House passed similar legislation (H.R. 4222) by voice vote on June 6, 2012.



[1] House Natural Resources Committee Report 113-27 at 1

Cost

CBO estimates that H.R. 507 would “have no significant impact on the federal budget.”