Council continues to debate Legislation No. 0313-14: Relating to Budget and Finance Committee and Naabik’iyati’ and Navajo Nation Council; Amending Budget Resolution CS-46-14 and Approving the Reallocation of $243,728.00 of Fiscal Year 2015 General Funds to the Office of Legislative Services (Business Unit 101019) from General Fund Revenue Account
Sponsors: Honorable Alton Joe Shepherd, Honorable Jonathan L. Hale)
NAVAJO NATION OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGETS DIRECTOR DOMINIC BEYAL
what is occuring here is that in 2015 budget, the initial budget as proposed by Budget & Finance Committee and adopted by Council budgeted all reoccurring revenues. but when it went to President Shelly he exercised line item veto. President line item vetoed $1.7 million for Legislative District Assistants and since reoccurring revenues, it is still available.
this happened in 2012 budget and why OMB memo states that prior handling of line veto money were called non-reoccurring funds. so the point is that we have done this before and the funds are available for budgeting.
COUNCIL DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
so we are amending 2015 budget and adding reoccurring revenues. is that good practice? and should we do this on the fly? we feel good so let’s add police officer. and if any money left over, it goes into reserves in case there is a budget shortage. better way is when new council comes in then drag out 2015 budget and redo it to improve services to the people.
COUNCIL DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
my question regards budget. is this going to impact LDAs pay in January 2015 for new delegates. if so then we shouldn’t even look at this bill. and the new council should look at this. i know President Shelly vetoed funds. We know how important LDAs/Legislative District Assistants are. they really help us at chapter level. some delegates represent seven chapters. and we have done fine so far without hiring police officer. we can ask for assignment of police officer. new office space looks great but when remodeling done all summer and for several months, the question is cost and whether really necessary.
we don’t need police officer. you also talked about technology. but when Law & Order Committee meets, our staff uses lap tops and there is no recording equipment. let’s wait on legislation and wait for new delegates who will realize impact of job that we have. we have to give them a chance a decide. we have heavy work load. and staff also. but when ask for assistance, their load is heavy too and we can ask to help each other. Mr. Platero, no more fancy dancy remodeling. and you may not serve me lunch but oh well.
LEGISLATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR TOM PLATERO
Yes. The LDA budget was never funded and so syphoning from legislative services and this legislation would replenish legislative services budget.
VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1 passes.
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
Amendment 2 – appropriating $317,891 to Navajo Election Administration.
Amendment 2 caters to Supreme Court Chief Justice for special presidential election to cover up his mistakes. This is a no, no. We should openly discuss special presidential election. And reason $317,891 attached to this legislation is because this is about funding legislative services. and this would allow election over people’s objections.
DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
i agree with Delegate Tsosie. The Chief Justice is trying to cover up his inconsistent rulings. he goes out there and makes new rules about election. he basically took over all the duties of the Council and Naabik’iyati Committee. He basically took away powers of Council to address people’s issue. he is saying he’s a legislator and so let’s take $317,891 from his budget. He comes to council and asks for funding and Council has always been generous. I ask Council to vote amendment 2 down.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE
There is another legislation for $286,287 for the Election Office. so what are we doing?
DELEGATE DUANE TSINIGINE
I’m sorry that monkey wrench thrown into your bill which should only be for legislative services. I’d like explanation for why $317,000 when Election Office asked for $286,287.
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
the $317,000 comes from legislative branch and $289,287 comes from reserves and when Mr. Wauneka gave his report to Naabik’iyati Committee, it was recommended that Mr. Wauneka visit chapters.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
now i understand what is going on. we made funds reoccurring. at the expense of legislative branch, there was plot to sneak this in. the $317,000 is way much more that what was asked for. do you want to fund election in dark or in the sunshine where election fully debated. should we really go that low just to cover up Chief Justice mistakes. this is save Chief Justice amendment.
Judiciary Branch caused all these election problems and so the Judicial Branch should pay for their mistakes.