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PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has given initial approval to a bill allowing local towns and cities to override the federal government and access federal land during emergencies.

Republican bill sponsor Kelly Townsend of Mesa says she was inspired by the battle between the city of Tombstone and the federal government over access to repair its water supply system in the Coronado National Forest.

The bill would apply to governor-designated states of emergencies.

Townsend says local authorities should have the right to go in where needed without being granted approval first in cases of emergency.

Democrats say the bill could put cities and towns at risk of being sued by the federal government.

The House gave initial approval on Thursday. They must still formally vote before it goes to the Senate.

Associated Press,

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