Navajo Council actions on legislation, 7.22.22

Greenings Relatives/Frens/Humans, the following news report is on actions taken on Friday, 7.22.22, by the Navajo Council on legislation on their annual five-day summer session, before they abruptly voted 14 in favor, and 5 opposed to immediately adjourn at 2:17 pm, 7.22.22, due to a COVID outbreak among staff in the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch in Window Rock, Arizona.

Alray Nelson, spokesman for the Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker, said that the Navajo Council was expected to adjourn due to the COVID outbreak and to allow legislative staff to go home after they have a Rapid COVID test done. Council Delegates attending the summer session in-person were given rapid COVID tests.

Nelson said he would be releasing an official statement from Speaker Seth Damon is a couple of hours. It is now 3:10 pm, 7.22.22.

The Following is my news report about the Council’s action on Day 5, 7.22.22, which convened at 10 a.m.

The first item on the Navajo Council’s agenda, when the Council reconvened Friday, was Legislation 0049-22, which Council approval to allocate $500,000 from the Síhasin Fund for the Assessment, Removal, and Cleanup of Old Residential Units in Navajo, NM. But because the sponsor of 0049-22, Delegate Wilson Stewart Jr., Withdrew his sponsorship as Prime Sponsor, 0049-22 was closed out.

10:45 am, 7.22.22, and Navajo Council debating LEGISLATION 0051-22, which seeks Council approval for the appropriation of $3 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance (“UUFB”) for the Navajo Election Administration for its Expenses in Preparation for the 2022 Navajo Nation Elections. SPONSOR: Delegate Wilson C. Stewart, Jr.

Delegate Daniel Tso asks Navajo Election Administration director Kelly if deficiencies fixed at Crownpoint NEA office.

Navajo Board of Election Supervisors chairman Melvin Harrison says it’s understanding it’s not fixed. We are trying to find another building/location because that building that Crownpoint NEA office is using is condemned.
Vera, NEA staff, reports that NEA is working on portable building and talking with Crownpoint public schools.
NEA director Kelly says Crownpoint has had deiciens since 2000. We had scheduled Navajo OSHA but NOSHA closed for two weeks & still waiting to reschedule NOSHA. And NOSHA says that NEA is being Fined for remaining in a condemned building.


Delegate Otto Tso says that the issue is How is NEA reacting to funds for election. These funds are not for building and hope you can steer the ship.
Speaker Damon explains to Otto Tso that Delegate Daniel Tso raised the concern over Crownpoint NEA office.

Delegate Daniel Tso said there are voting machines at Crownpoint NEA. We have no office. Are we having chief poll judge drive to Window Rock? That’s why I’m really concerned. And other people will want to register after primaries and making requests for absentee ballots. So this is personal. This money is going to agency offices. Right now trying to steer Council on this particular major concern. Navajo Nation has duty to provide safe working environment and this is very important. Have reports of holes in walls or floor.

11:25 am, 7.22.22, and Delegate Vince James asks Navajo Election Administrator director Kelly if filing fees returned to candidates who are disqualified.
Chief Legislative Counsel Dana Bobroff says district court ruling to Supreme Court & briefings have not occurred, which mean Delegate James’ question cannot be answered. And Health, Education & Human Services Committee updated on litigation, and I can update Council in executive session.
Navajo Election Administration director Rosita Kelly says that the 2020 election filing fees for school boards went to general fund. The $81,000 is from the 2022 filing fees.

11:38 am, 7.22.22, and NEA Rosita Kelly says they can forward expenditure plan to Navajo Board of Election Supervisors. Many of the NEA staff are new but we will be ready for chapter elections. We did budget for unmet needs for General Election. We included in fiscal 2023 budget but we were told to keep separate.

11:44 am, 7.22.22, and Budget & Finance committee staff explain that Amendment 1 to LEGISLATION 0051-22 would reduce the $3 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance (“UUFB”) for the Navajo Election Administration for its Expenses in Preparation for the 2022 Navajo Nation Elections Reduces to $1M.
The Council votes 19 in favor, zero opposed on Legislation 0052-22, which means 0052-22 passed.
Unofficial voting tally:
Elmer Begay Green; Kee Allen Begay Jr. Green; Paul Begay Green: Nathaniel Brown Green; Eugenia Charles-Newton Green; Amber Kanazbah Crotty EXCUSED; Herman Daniels Jr. Green; Mark Freeland Green; Pernell Halona Green; Jamie Henio NoVote; Vince James Green; Rickie Nez Green; Carl Slater Green; Raymond Smith Jr. Green; Wilson Stewart Jr. Green; Otto Tso Green; Charlaine Tso NoVote; Daniel Tso Green; Eugene Tso Green; Thomas Walker Jr. NoVote; Edison Wauneka Green; Edmund Yazzie Green; Jimmy Yelowhair Green.

11:59 AM, 7.22.22 and Health, Education & Human Services Committee chairman Daniel Tso said his directive was drafted by chief legislative counsel. The Directive is to the Navajo Nation Division of General Services to prioritize & immediately repair the Crownpoint Navajo Election Administration no later than July 31, 2022. Delegate Kee Allen Begay adds that the chapters he represents in Arizona also lack NEA offices.
The Council votes 19 in favor, zero opposed on Delegate Daniel Tso’s Directive to Division of General Services.
Unofficial voting tally:
Elmer Begay Green; Kee Allen Begay Jr. Green; Paul Begay Green: Nathaniel Brown Green; Eugenia Charles-Newton Green; Amber Kanazbah Crotty EXCUSED; Herman Daniels Jr. Green; Mark Freeland NoVote; Pernell Halona Green; Jamie Henio NoVote; Vince James Green; Rickie Nez Green; Carl Slater Green; Raymond Smith Jr. Green; Wilson Stewart Jr. Green; Otto Tso Green; Charlaine Tso Green; Daniel Tso Green; Eugene Tso Green; Thomas Walker Jr. NoVote; Edison Wauneka Green; Edmund Yazzie Green; Jimmy Yelowhair Green.

12:05 pm, 7.21.22 and the Council begins debating Agenda New Business, Item (G) LEGISLATION 0065-22: Approving $13,215,000 from the Síhasin Fund for the Completion of the Kayenta Judicial Complex; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3)
SPONSOR: Delegate Nathaniel Brown said the community requested ARPA funds, but did not receive funding. We have a prosecutor after years of being without one. We got $60 million from Arizona legislature and $2 million allocated to Kayenta Judicial Complex. A lot of people have worked really hard on this project and we don’t want the Arizona funds to revert to Arizona.

1:45 pm, 7.22.22, and Navajo Council Speaker Seth Damon abruptly announces that the Council is going into Recess until 2:10 pm, 7.22.22. Damon also asks the Council to immediately read an email that his staff sent out.

2 pm, 7.22.22, and the Navajo Council is expected to Adjourn their five-day Summer Session immediately because of a COVID Outbreak at the Navajo Nation Legislation Branch. The Council is scheduled to return from a 20-minute recess at 2:10 pm, 7.22.22.
At 1:45 pm, 7.22.22, Navajo Council Speaker Seth Damon abruptly announces that the Council is going into Recess until 2:10 pm, 7.22.22. Damon also asks the Council to immediately read an email that his staff sent out.

2:17 pm, 7.22.22, and Budget & Finance Committee chairman Jamie Henio motions to Adjourn. Henio does not give a Reason.

2:17 pm, 7.22.22, and Speaker Damon informs Council that if Motion to Adjourn passes, the Council picks up its debate and legislation at the point the Council Adjourns. Damon adds that there is a petition for a special Council session July 26 that Delegates can sign if they choose.
Resources & Development Committee chairman Rickie Nez says the RDC is scheduled to begin hearings on the 2023 budgets from their oversight divisions from Monday through Friday.
Speaker Damon says no committee budget sessions are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday because no proposed budgets were submitted on time.
The Council votes 14 in favor, and 5 opposed to adjourn.
Unofficial voting tally:
Elmer Begay Green; Kee Allen Begay Jr. Green; Paul Begay Green: Nathaniel Brown RED; Eugenia Charles-Newton Green; Amber Kanazbah Crotty EXCUSED; Herman Daniels Jr. Green; Mark Freeland RED; Pernell Halona NoVote; Jamie Henio Green; Vince James NoVote; Rickie Nez RED; Carl Slater RED; Raymond Smith Jr. Green; Wilson Stewart Jr. Green; Otto Tso RED; Charlaine Tso Green; Daniel Tso Green; Eugene Tso Green; Thomas Walker Jr. Green; Edison Wauneka Green; Edmund Yazzie NoVote; Jimmy Yelowhair Green.

PROPOSED AGENDA OF THE 24th NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL SUMMER SESSION
July 18 – 22, 2022, 10 AM, Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ)

VIA TELECONFERENCE
Call-in Number: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 928 871 7160
Passcode: 86515
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PRESIDING: Honorable Seth Damon, Speaker, 24th Navajo Nation Council

  1. CALL SESSION TO ORDER; ROLL CALL; INVOCATION
  2. RECOGNIZE GUESTS AND VISITING OFFICIALS TO THE NAVAJO NATION
  3. REVIEW AND ADOPT THE AGENDA
    (m) (s) (v)
  4. RECEIVE THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NAVAJO NATION
    (m) (s) (v)
  5. RECEIVE REPORT FROM THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE NAVAJO NATION
    (m) (s) (v)
  6. RECEIVE REPORT FROM THE SPEAKER OF THE NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL
    (m) (s) (v)
  7. RECEIVE FINANCIAL REPORT FROM THE CONTROLLER
    (m) (s) (v)
    Page 2 of 5
  8. ORAL REPORTS
    A. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) (m) (s) (v)
    B. Indian Health Services (IHS) (m) (s) (v)
    C. Attorney General (m) (s) (v)
    D. Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council (m) (s) (v)
  9. WRITTEN REPORTS
    A. Standing Committees (m) (s) (v)
    B. Boards and Commissions (m) (s) (v)
    C. Bureau of Indian Affairs (m) (s) (v)
    D. Indian Health Services Area Director (m) (s) (v)
  10. OLD BUSINESS
    (A) LEGISLATION 0063-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Health, Education and Human Services, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $1,600,000 Out of the Síhasin Fund to Cover the Funding Shortfall for the Ganado Chapter Senior & Veterans Center Project; Reapproving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3) SPONSOR: Honorable Vince R. James
    (m) Hon. Otto Tso (s) Hon. Jimmy Yellowhair (v)
    07/01/2022 – Motion to Table Legislation 0063-22 until Navajo Nation Council Summer Session to provide ample time for Division of Community Development (DCD) and Community Projects Management Department (CPMD) to provide an overall listing for projects with shortfalls, and for Office of Legislative Counsel to assist in drafting possible amendments; (M) Honorable Daniel E. Tso; (S)
    Honorable Eugene Tso; (V) 14 In Favor, 06 Opposed (Speaker Damon Not Voting)
    (B) LEGISLATION 0013-22: An Act Relating to the Health, Education and Human Services, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $540,528 in Supplemental Funding from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance to Rehoboth Christian School to Fund Student Transportation Costs, a Navajo Language Teacher Position, Summer School Expenses, and Other Needs SPONSOR: Honorable Pernell Halona
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Seth Damon
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Edmund Yazzie
    (m) (s) (v)
    5/12/2022 – Legislation 0013-22 was referred back to the Navajo Nation Council for consideration; (M) Hon. Edison J. Wauneka; (S) Hon. Jimmy Yellowhair; (V) 14 in Favor, 09 Opposed (Chairman Damon Not Voting)
    4/21/2022 – Motion to Refer Legislation 0013-22 to the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee for further discussion at the next Regular scheduled or Special Naabik’íyáti’ Committee meeting; (M) Hon. Jamie Henio; (S) Hon. Eugenia Charles-Newton; (V) 12 in Favor, 11 Opposed
    (Chairman Damon Votes in Favor to Break Tie)
  11. NEW BUSINESS
    (A) LEGISLATION 0258-21: An Action Relating to Resources and Development, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending CAP-19-16 to Transfer the Responsibility and Permanent Trust Fund Interest Funding for the Shiprock Hotel Restaurant Project From the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise to the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise; Allocating $11,400,000 from the Síhasin Fund to the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise for the Shiprock HotelRestaurant Project and Approving the NNHE’S Shiprock Hotel Restaurant Project Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. §§2501-2508 (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Eugenia Charles-Newton
    (m) (s) (v)
    (B) LEGISLATION 0021-22: An Act Relating to Health, Education and Human Services, Law and Order, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending the Selection Process for the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration Executive Director; and Amending 2 N.N.C. § 1031, 1032, 1033, 1034, 1035, 1036 Relating to the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Kee Allen Begay, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    (C) LEGISLATION 0022-22: An Act Relating to Health, Education and Human Services, Law and Order, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending 2 N.N.C. §1033 to Establish a Program Manager to Administer the Veterans Housing Program (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Kee Allen Begay, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    (D) LEGISLATION 0043-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $437,947 Out of the Síhasin Fund to Purchase a New Motor Grader for Sawmill Chapter and to Purchase a New Backhoe for Red Lake Chapter; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – 2508(2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Wilson C. Stewart, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    (E) LEGISLATION 0049-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $500,000 from the Síhasin Fund for the Assessment, Removal, and Cleanup of Old Residential Units in the Community of Navajo, New Mexico; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan in a Accordance with 12 N.N.C. §2505(A) (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Wilson C. Stewart, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    (F) LEGISLATION 0051-22: An Act Relating to Budget and Finance and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $3,003,441 from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance (“UUFB”) for the Navajo Election Administration for its Expenses in Preparation for the 2022 Navajo Nation Elections; Waiving 12 N.N.C. § 820(E), § 820(F), § 820(J), and § 820(L) (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Wilson C. Stewart, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    (G) LEGISLATION 0065-22: An Act Relating to the Law and Order, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $13,215,000 from the Síhasin Fund for the Completion of the Kayenta Judicial Complex; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Nathaniel Brown
    (m) (s) (v)
    (H) LEGISLATION 0066-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $7,650,000 from the Síhasin Fund for the Construction of the Chiłchinbeto Multi-purpose Building; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Nathaniel Brown
    (m) (s) (v)
    (I) LEGISLATION 0067-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Allocating $4,100,000 from the Síhasin Fund for a Proposed Apartment/Multipurpose Complex in Navajo, New Mexico; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Wilson C. Stewart, Jr.
    (m) (s) (v)
    (J) LEGISLATION 0104-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Health, Education, and Human Services, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Allocating $25,000,000 from the Síhasin Fund to the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation for its Long-Term Care, Cancer, and Rehabilitation Facility; Approving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Otto Tso
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Paul Begay, Jr.
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Seth Damon
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Pernell Halona
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Daniel E. Tso
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Thomas Walker, Jr.
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Edison J. Wauneka
    (m) (s) (v)
    (K) LEGISLATION 0106-22: An Act Relating to the Resources and Development, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and the Navajo Nation Council; Allocating $1,500,000.00 from the Síhasin Fund to the Capital Projects Management Department (“CPMD”) to Complete the Teesto Chapter Community Center Project; Reapproving the Related Expenditure Plan Pursuant to 12 N.N.C. § 2501 – § 2508 (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Elmer P. Begay
    (m) (s) (v)
    (L) LEGISLATION 0107-22: An Act Relating to the Budget and Finance, Health, Education and Human Services, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $13,334,871 from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance (“UUFB”) for the Renovations Necessary at Certain Navajo Nation Government Facilities to Provide Access to Persons with Disabilities; and Waiving 12 N.N.C. § 820(M) Regarding OMB Review (2/3)
    SPONSOR: Honorable Eugene Tso
    (m) (s) (v)
    (M)LEGISLATION 0024-22: An Action Relating to the Resources and Development, Health, Education and Human Services, Budget and Finance, Law and Order, and Naabik’íyáti Committees and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending the Navajo Nation Veterans Trust Fund at 12 N.N.C. §1176 to Create Separate Business Unit Numbers When Funding Navajo Veterans’ Organizations
    SPONSOR: Honorable Kee Allen Begay, Jr.
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Amber Kanazbah Crotty
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Carl R. Slater
    (m) (s) (v)
    (N) LEGISLATION 0052-22: An Act Relating to Resources and Development, Budget and Finance and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees, and to the Navajo Nation Council; Approving $267,184 from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance for Animal Rez-Q, Inc. to Conduct the “Navajo Nation Spay, Neuter, Vaccination Blitz 2022” from April to September 2022 in Cooperation with the Navajo Nation Animal Control Program
    SPONSOR: Honorable Eugene Tso
    (m) (s) (v)
    (O) LEGISLATION 0092-22: An Act Relating to Health Education and Human Services, Law and Order, and Naabik’íyáti’ Committees and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending 15 N.N.C. §§ 302 – 308, the Plan of Operations of the Navajo Nation Labor Commission
    SPONSOR: Honorable Otto Tso
    (m) (s) (v)
  12. CLOSE OF SESSION; ANNOUNCEMENTS; ADJOURNMENT
    THIS AGENDA IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE: The public is advised that the Navajo Nation Council Agenda and the Agendas of the Standing Committees are not final until adopted by a majority vote of the Navajo Nation Council or the Standing Committee at a Navajo Nation Council or a Standing Committee meeting pursuant to 2 N.N.C. §§163 and 183, Navajo Nation Council Rule of Order No. 7, and Standing Committee Rule of Order No. 8.
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