Store Research

Assembly Bill 20x (Robertson 1938x)

Chapter 5x, Statutes of 1938x, AB 20x

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As enacted in 1938, Assembly Bill 20x added a new Act known as the “State Lands Act of 1938.”  (See Exhibit #1e) This new 1938 legislation was enacted following legislative passage of Assembly Bill 20 in the First Extraordinary Session [hereafter referred to as “Assembly Bill 20x”] of 1938.  (Id.)  Assembly member Alfred Robertson introduced the legislation on March 8, 1938 during this First Extraordinary Session.  (See Exhibits #1a and #2)


Assembly Bill 20x was not heard in any policy committee in the Assembly.  (See Exhibit #2)  The bill was amended by the Assembly, approved and passed to the Senate in four days.  (See Exhibits #1b and #2)  In the Senate, the measure was considered by the Committee on Oil and Oil Industries, was amended, approved and returned to the Assembly all on that same day.  (See Exhibits #1c and #2)  The Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments and sent the measure to the Governor.  (See Exhibits #1d and #2)  Governor Frank Merriam signed Assembly Bill 20x on March 24th and the Secretary of State recorded it on that date as Chapter 5 of the Statutes of the 1938 First Extraordinary Session.  (See Exhibits #1e and #2)


The Summary Digest of Statutes Enacted prepared by the Legislative Counsel provides the following summary of Assembly Bill 20x:




          New act.  Creates State Lands Commission, composed of Director of Finance, Controller, and Lieutenant Governor, in Department of Finance; transfers administration, sale, and leasing of all State lands to the Commission, acting through the Division of State Lands.

Reserves all oil and gas and mineral deposits in State lands; purchaser of such lands acquires no title to such deposits, which shall be disposed of only on rental and royalty basis.

Provides terms and procedure for leasing for extraction of oil and gas deposits in tidelands and other State lands, including lands dedicated to public use.  Tide and submerged land drilling to be conducted only from uplands or from filled tidelands.

Provides for compromise and settlement of disputed claims to oil and gas, including claims of counties and cities.  Provides for suits against trespassers.  Authorizes suits by and against the State to determine rights to oil and gas in tidelands.

Authorizes condemnation proceedings by Commission to carry out provisions of the act.

Provides for agreements for payment of compensation to counties and cities to which tidelands have been granted where such lands are leased under this act.

Authorizes prospecting permits and leases of State lands for minerals other than oil and gas; prescribes terms and conditions and specifies preferential rights.

Moneys paid to State, after deducting expense of administration, to go to general fund, except thirty per cent to “State park maintenance and acquisition fund,” to be expended as may hereafter be provided.

Repeals Acts 5635 and 6341.

(See Exhibit #3, pages 11 and 12)