Bill Would Allow State to Take Over Federal Facilities | Big Horn Basin Media

Bill Would Allow State to Take Over Federal Facilities

Written by on January 28, 2019

Should another federal government shutdown occur, the state would operate national parks and other federal facilities – that is, if the Wyoming Legislature passes a proposal that would allow the governor to seize those assets.

Senator Charles Scott of Casper this past week introduced Senate File 148, which would empower the governor to seize federal facilities, except military installations, until the federal shutdown ends.

Scott said a shutdown puts the state at the mercy of the federal government when it comes to the tourism industry. And given how big an impact closing off federal parks like Yellowstone and Devils Tower National Monument would have on the economy, especially if a shutdown occurred in the middle of tourist season, Scott said Wyoming needs to be ready to act.

However, a professor at the UW College of Law says that action would be unconstitutional. Sam Kalen says that having a state keep federal parks open during a shutdown isn’t out of the norm, but the state doesn’t have the authority to seize federal property.

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