With only one Republican opposed, the state House voted Tuesday to let Glendale annex land now owned by the Tohono O'odham Nation in a last-ditch bid to prevent the tribe from building a casino there.
The 39-21 vote came over the objections of Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, who said the measure unfairly - and he believes illegally - tramples the rights of the tribe to decide how best to use its private property. He predicted the measure is headed to court if it gets Senate approval and the anticipated signature of Gov. Jan Brewer.
But Rep. Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale, said the extraordinary law is needed to protect the property rights of other Glendale residents who never anticipated that a casino could be built on the city's edge.
As crafted, HB 2534 would allow the Glendale City Council to immediately annex the property, with or without the consent of the tribe.