Crane Bill for Arizona Veterans' Center Passes House

Crane Bill for Arizona Veterans' Center Passes House

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
|
April 10, 2024

Northern Arizona veterans could potentially see the construction and opening of a center in Young, Gila County, thanks to a bill introduced by Representative Eli Crane (R-AZ) that has recently passed in the House of Representatives.

Originally introduced last March, H.R. 1829 was also Rep. Crane's first piece of legislation introduced into the House. At its simplest, the bill transfers ownership of 232 acres of land from the Federal government to Gila County, allowing for the construction of a veterans' center "providing resources and support to primarily rural veterans and their families."

After all, Rep. Crane noted that much of the property in the American West remains under the control of the Federal government, "limiting states’ ability to maintain, conserve, recreate, and responsibly produce on the lands within their own borders."

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According to Ballotpedia, the Federal government owns 38.6% of available acreage in Arizona, providing impetus for H.R. 1829.

Should the bill pass in the Senate and become law, the proposed veterans' center on the property transferred to Gila County "would protect and maintain the rich history of the property, while providing family housing, meeting and activity spaces, resource rooms, Veteran Ceremonial Grounds, and outdoor recreation."

In his press release, Crane noted, "This veterans center is so crucial for rural veterans in northern Arizona who selflessly served our nation. I’m grateful to see my colleagues in the House recognize the significance of this land transfer. This was the first piece of legislation I introduced and is a testament to the significance of northern Arizona’s veterans. Anytime Congress can vote on legislation that returns power to the states is a good thing. I’m grateful to House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman and Subcommittee Chairman Tom Tiffany for their leadership and look forward to the advancement of this bill in the Senate."

At the beginning of March, Crane introduced another bill prioritizing the hiring of veterans with relevant skills into Federal land management agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Land Management and the National Park and Forest Services, which helps those who served to find work and provide staff the agencies need.

"It's bipartisan, which I think is good, gives it a higher chance that it will actually pass," Rep. Crane told Cactus Politics, adding the bill arose because "we have just talked to folks in the Forest Service before, and they told us that this is a problem because a lot of the bureaucratic red tape when they are looking to hire positions."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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