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S. 4696 (116th): University of Alaska Fiscal Foundation Act


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 24, 2020 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

116th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 4696

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 24, 2020

(for herself and Mr. Sullivan) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

A BILL

To provide for the continuation of higher education through the conveyance to the University of Alaska of certain public land in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the University of Alaska Fiscal Foundation Act.

2.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to establish a program within the Department of the Interior to fulfill the commitment of Congress to establish the University of Alaska as a land grant university with holdings sufficient to facilitate operation and maintenance of a university system for the State of Alaska.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Available State selected land

The term available State selected land means Federal land in the State that has been selected by the State, including top-filed land, but not conveyed or patented to the State, pursuant to Public Law 85–508 (commonly known as the Alaska Statehood Act) (48 U.S.C. note prec. 21).

(2)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management.

(3)

State

The term State means the State of Alaska.

(4)

University

The term University means the University of Alaska.

4.

University of Alaska land grant

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a program within the Bureau of Land Management to identify and convey available State selected land to the University for a land grant to support higher education.

(b)

Identification of available State selected land

(1)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the State and the University may jointly identify not more than 500,000 acres of available State selected land for inclusion in the program established under subsection (a) for conveyance and patent to the University.

(2)

Technical assistance

Upon the request of the State and the University, the Secretary shall provide technical assistance in the identification of available State selected land for inclusion in the program.

(3)

Survey

Upon notification that the State and the University have identified available State selected land for conveyance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall expeditiously survey the available State selected land.

(4)

Maps

As soon as practicable after the date on which the available State selected land is identified for conveyance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to Congress one or more maps depicting the available State selected land identified for conveyance under that paragraph.

(c)

State and University concurrence; conveyances

Subject to subsection (e), if the State and the University submit to the Secretary one or more joint letters stating that the State and the University concur with the conveyance of all or a portion of the available State selected land identified for conveyance under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall convey to the Board of Regents of the University, subject to valid existing rights, the applicable identified available State selected land, to be held in trust for the exclusive use and benefit of the University.

(d)

Administration of conveyed land

All available State selected land conveyed to the University under this Act, together with the income therefrom and the proceeds from any dispositions thereof, shall be administered by the University in trust to meet the necessary expenses of higher education programs, similar to prior Federal land grants to the University.

(e)

Terms and conditions

(1)

Maximum acreage

The Secretary shall convey not more than a total of 360,000 acres of available State selected land to the University under this Act.

(2)

Letters of concurrence

For purposes of subsection (c) and subject to the maximum acreage limitation under paragraph (1), the State and the University may submit to the Secretary one or more joint letters of concurrence identifying parcels of available State selected land for conveyance as a subset of the total acres to be conveyed under this Act.

(3)

Acreage charged against Alaska Statehood Act entitlement

The total acreage of all parcels of available State selected land conveyed to the University under this Act shall be charged against the remaining entitlement of the State under Public Law 85–508 (commonly known as the Alaska Statehood Act) (48 U.S.C. note prec. 21).

(4)

Survey costs

In accordance with Public Law 85–508 (commonly known as the Alaska Statehood Act) (48 U.S.C. note prec. 21), the Secretary shall be responsible for the costs of the survey under subsection (b)(3).

(f)

Intent of Congress

It is the intent of Congress that any conveyance requested through a joint letter of concurrence under subsection (c) be finalized not later than 1 year after the date on which the letter is received by the Secretary.

(g)

State and University participation

Nothing in this Act requires the State or the University—

(1)

to participate in the program established under subsection (a); or

(2)

to submit joint letters of concurrence under subsection (c) or (e)(2).

5.

Congressional notification

On conveyance and patent to the University of the available State selected land under this Act, the Secretary shall notify the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives of the conveyance.