DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
There is also a Navajo Hopi Land Commission on March 20 and so he just wanted to
DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
Please add the following Legislation:
Red Barn liquor license renewal legislation.
Also legislation regarding Navajo Department of Transportation.
NAABI ADOPTS AGENDA WITH 10 IN FAVOR, 1 OPPOSED.
DELEGATE LORENZO BATES
Report on proposed Navajo Nation Gaming Compact with New Mexico which failed to be approved by the New Mexico legislature. The nation’s position was that free play should be addressed by GAP but NM disagreed. We took out the Class II language. In our original compact, we structured internet gaming which is moving from east westward much faster than like. So without certainty of internet gaming we wanted to return to table if internet gaming approved by NM. And internet gaming is detrimental to Indian gaming in NM and so we wanted opportunity to return to gaming compact and renegotiate internet gaming provision. But when state legislators thought that Navajo wanted internet gaming, Navajo had to renegotiate internet gaming. And then the Pueblos were providing “misinformation” to the state legislator and so we had to make corrections and renegotiate.
Last year, Senate shot it down. This year it was the House. Our intent from beginning was that the state budget would be priority and we didn’t want to get entangled in that process. So we submitted everything not to get tangled but we got tangled.
Did our compact become bargaining chip? Yes it did. It got held up even after it was drafted. House passed 36 in favor, 30 opposed. As watching compact, there were 40 votes in favor, 15 opposed and then final vote was 36-30. And there was day inbetween when went from House to SEnate.
On House side, House responsible for submitting budget and it was voted down first time. There was no give or take so leadership from House and Senate decided that Senate take on budget issue. Meantime our compact sat there.
Two days after, the Senate passed budget for NM and our compact introduced and two bills passed each other. And it sat there for another day. Another important bill, Minimum Wage Bill, from Senate and Senate passed and it went to House and it needed 36 votes but didn’t get. Immediately after that vote, our compact hit floor. Little debate and only one debated, sponsor Munoz. Vote was 10 in favor, 31 opposed.
Since then team got together and looked at options. Navajo Compact expires June 2015 and NM legislature is also in June 2015. But concern is US Interior Department. Fire Rock and Northern Edge can be subject to federal closure. And vendors cud or wud likely refuse to buy services cuz it wud put their gaming licenses at risk. Also cost more money for navajo gaming enterprise cuz of replacement of machines and Fire rock and Northern Edge wud go to Class II which means table games away. and also reduce revenues. and loss of jobs.
Navajo request for a total of five casinos was opposed cuz of possible Navajo casino site across from Route 66 or site across from Fire Rock. And Fire Rock has impacted other facilities. Same with Northern Edge which attracting truckers that wud have gone to Acoma’s casino. But whether casinos are Class II or Class III is not state business.
Another issue that was not concern of Interior or states was section 8 liability – changed wording to “visitor” from “person”. NM wanted “person”. If individual got intoxicated in Navajo casino and went out and did bodily harm with vehicle off rez then the victim wud have no recourse against casino or Navajo. And even if recourse then go to one court, Window Rock District Court. As you are all aware, the nation allows for action to be brot against casino and tribe. We explained to legislators but trial lawyers in their desire to leech on tribe bought us all away. This is where I ask Naabi to go into executive session. It is now 12:01 pm
DELEGATE CHARLES DAMON AND JOSHUA BUTLER
8 IN FAVOR, 2 OPPOSED