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Court rules against raiding Arizona trust land money

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court says the state can't divert money from sales of trust land to help pay for running the agency that manages trust land.

The court's unanimous ruling Wednesday upholds a trial judge's decision that it violated the Arizona Constitution to use trust land proceeds for purposes other than to benefit schools and certain other public institutions.

Arizona received millions of acres from the federal government at statehood to put in trust. The Arizona Constitution and federal law restricts how proceeds can be used.

A school district and others sued to challenge a 2009 budget-balancing law that said some money from selling trust land can be used for department operations.

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