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Navajo Council Delegate K. Benally upset with legal advice
February 21, 2014 Professional Journal

Navajo Nation Council special session started and debate heating up over list of capital improvement projects for the Navajo Reservation’s 110 chapters. It’s now 1:28 pm and the Council chamber is filling up with chapter officials to show their support for their CIPs so the Council will finally approve a Five Year CIP Plan, which prior Council’s since the mid-1980s have failed to do because each Delegate wants his or her chapters’ CIPs on the list.

DELEGATE DUANE TSINIGINE
I support LEGISLATION 0118-13.

DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
Directive was for CIO to do the work, put up to date information in there and that wasn’t done so basically we are doing work for them. And if chapters are being sanctioned then that is probably why they want this passed. We have three booklets and it’s confusing. But I want this to move forward. For example, Ganado’s priority is Senior Center then powerline. I want chapters to be represented fairly. And every year, chapters are expected to update their list of projects. And i have no problem with waiver of law because we have done that before. And again I ask that the updated projects of my five chapters be added.

SPEAKER NAIZE
There are some new projects that have 2012 and those need a bit of change, such as 2012 to 2013.

CLARIFICATION FROM NAVAJO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Johnson
The Navajo Nation Supreme Court ruled that Council cannot waive Appropriations Act.

As soon as Ms. Johnson finishes her legal opinion, DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY, who has been staring angrily at her as she was speaking, starts repeating very loudly, “Ms. Johnson! Ms. Johnson!” And as Delegate K.Benally repeats Ms. Johnson’s name, several Delegates loudly but politely tell Delegate K.Benally, “Be Nice! Be Nice!”

DELEGATE K. BENALLY
No! Because this is about the chapters.
Ms Johnson, we are not discussing Appropriations Act. We are talking chapters’ projects.

SPEAKER NAIZE suddenly interjects:
Let’s take a five minute break.

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