FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2011
Supreme Court requires Attorney General to represent Commissioner of Public Lands
OLYMPIA – Statement from the Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark in response to the favorable ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court in the writ of mandamus against Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna:
“In today’s historic decision the Supreme Court ruled that Rob McKenna’s ‘duty is mandatory, and the attorney general has no discretion to deny the commissioner legal representation.’ I applaud the Supreme Court for striking down what would be a dangerous precedent by the attorney general to dictate policy for another statewide elected official.
“As Commissioner of Public Lands, I have an obligation to manage the state’s trust lands sustainably for future generations, and I will continue to fight for what I know is right. Thankfully, the Supreme Court has agreed with me. It is essential that the Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands has the ability to carry out its responsibility to the trusts, and not having counsel leaves the Common School Trust defenseless. The schools supported by the trust and the citizens of Washington are the big winners today.”
Common School Trust
DNR manages more than 3 million acres of public trusts lands, the largest of which is the Common School Trust. Since 1967, revenues derived on lands within the Common School Trust have provided about $3 billion in non-tax revenue for the capital construction of public school facilities. These non-tax revenues are generated by the private sector on trust lands through agriculture, grazing, and timber harvest.
Media Contact: Bryan Flint, Director of Communications and Outreach, 360-902-1023, firstname.lastname@example.org
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