Here at Navajo Nation Council Health, Education & Human Services Committee at Council chambers, Window Rock, Ariz., March 13, 2018, Tuesday.
Committee on Report form Navajo Veterans Administration, veterans and others about veterans concerns.
BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SETH DAMON The upcoming 2019 annual Navajo Nation government operating budget is proposed at $176M budget, after set asides, which have been set aside so not effected. effect on budget wud b deficit towards revenue budget. due to APS coal plant in northern Navajo has relatively shut down third stack and start up later this month or next month and hurt $9M to $10M so have to identify how to cover. this happened in 2015 budget when carrying over dollars and asked Tax Office for $10M from Suspense Fund.
for the Veterans Trust Fund, that is a set aside.
and Budget & Finance looking at handling shortfall so no shortfall.
as of right now there is no impact on Veterans Trust Fund or any other Trust Funds.
but there is effect if Navajo Generating Station shuts down so let contributions for set asides which would impact Veterans Trust Fund and other Trust Funds.
can’t give specific amount on specific amount for Veterans Trust Fund but there has been outstanding market, at $133M for Veterans Trust Fund but remember for those two or three days beginning in February, the Navajo Nation impacted. so we are still ahead, hovering $135M in Veterans Trust Fund and no actual number at end of month, close out of second quarter. then find out how much in each trust fund and after closing of second quarter.
HEALTH, EDUCATION & HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JONATHAN HALE you hear from various people about Navajo Generating Station functioning but whatever goes into Navajo General Fund, set asides come out first, such as Veterans, Scholarships, Education, etc. Then president has prerogative to do 10 percent base funding. And that is a bit of how annual Navajo budget developed.
BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SETH DAMON is this memo from Delegate Kee Allen Begay regarding questions about Navajo Veterans Administration happening now?
JONATHAN HALE The meeting with Delegate Kee Allen Begay is scheduled for Tuesday but this committee will receive report from Office of President & Vice President legal advisor Karis Begaye on that memo. And the memo and proposed legislation regarding veterans is a work in progress.
SETH DAMON Delegate Kee Begay memo has good bullet points but is there a timeline about needs from NVA Director Clyde and OPVP legal advisor Karis Begaye and especially a followup on how implement. And discussed at Twin Arrows at OPVP Veterans Strategic meeting. Past months the NVA has been lacking its overall duties to assist veterans for past two years. But thank Karis Begaye to move and develop veterans housing plan in a month after it sat in NVA for about two years. So is there a timeline that Health, Education & Human Services set for NVA and OPVP Karis Begaye.
JONTHAN HALE The committee is meeting again on veterans and the legislative process also takes time for legislation, which also has to be developed. Its one thing to receive report because it is not an action item, which is what legislation is. we have meeting on March 26 & 27. And committee in Monument Valley on March 28. And maybe legislation is on someone’s computer and all need to do is print out so could have veterans’ bill before committee on March 19.
NVA DIRECTOR CLYDE We are working on Corrective Action Plan for audit of Veterans. And I need to speak with OPVP legal advisor Begaye about proposed veterans legislation.
HEALTH, EDUCATON & HUMANS SERVICES COMMITTEE MEMBER NELSON BEGAYE On March 19 meeting at Sage Memorial Hospital and so like to see report from Twin Arrows Work Session on Veterans during March 26 committee meeting. So is the committee working with NVA director or OPVP legal advisor Karis Begaye? Understand election year and hear people traveling to Albuquerque for banquet. But I’ll make directive for full report from NVA and OPVP on Strategic Meeting on Veterans at Twin Arrows.
HEHS CHAIRMAN HALE And include OPVP Veterans Advisory Committee Dickerson because he attended Twin Arrows meeting on Veterans.
VOTE ON DIRECTIVE, 3-0, voting by Committee members Steven Begay, Nelson BeGaye, and Committee Vice Chairman Norman M. Begay.
VETERAN Request NVA to make policies regarding veterans veteran-friendly. And also why do veterans have to take documents to agency offices. Why can’t documents be faxed?
JONATHAN HALE I take proposed policies on veterans from NVA & OPVP and give to veterans in my community and ask for feedback but there is no feedback. And that happens with proposed legislation – no comments from public, Navajo government divisions/programs. I agree with your request to fax documents. Navajo government requires paper. Chapters have stacks of paper/documents and Mickey Mouse & gang went in and chewed up paper/documents.
VOTE TO ACCEPT REPORT, 3-0, VICE CHAIRMAN NORMAN BEGAY, COMMITTEE MEMBERS STEVEN BEGAY & NELSON BEGAY voted yes.