Navajo Council now on Legislation No. 0355-14: Relating to Law and Order, Budget and Finance, and Naabik’iyati’ Committees, and Navajo Nation Council; Enacting “The Navajo Nation Trust Settlement Act of 2014” by Amending Title 12 of the Navajo Nation Code and Establishing “The Sihasin Fund” to include those Settlement Monies received from the United States through Settlement of Navajo Nation V. United States, No. 06-945L, and those Monies received through Future Settlement or Judgment of Other Litigation brought against the United States for is Failure to Ensure that the Navajo Nation Receives All Funding Owed TO it VIA The United States’ Trust and fiduciary Responsibilities to the Navajo Nation
(Sponsor: Honorable Lorenzo Curley)
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ
Public hearings resulted in call for youth centers, elderly nursing homes and that is my Amendment.
DELEGATE JONATHAN HALE
we are mixing apples and oranges. this is creating fund. these amendments need to be in expenditure plan for $554 million. I would wait for plan and then language such as Nez’s which I support, as well as the making veterans and elders priority for housing.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAYE AND LEONARD TSOSIE AGREE WITH DELEGATE HALE. DELEGATE TSOSIE adds that once Council supports specific appropriations then some delegate will want to add rodeo grounds, senior rodeo association. so ask Delegate Nez to withdraw his amendment, and then we’ll hear from Controller Grant, and start working on expenditure plan.
DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
if you look at number one, says includes housing and that is wish list of when met in justice department and that wording housing came from Delegate Tsosie and Delegate Witherspoon made education language. before that the language was very general. so we are already specifying where settlement to go and why i asked for veterans and elders to be priority for housing. If we support Amendment from Delegate Nez then we will demonstrate that we listen to them especially since we held public hearings to hear from them.
DELEGATE ROLAND TSO
since being told not to add specific allocations but there are specific allocations, why can’t we make additions.
DELEGATE ROSCOE SMITH
Mr. Speaker Pro Tem did you hold public hearings or public meetings?
DELEGATE JONATHAN HALE
this legislation is to set up account for $554 million settlement before split up among certain groups and we need to understand that. and there is already Veterans Trust Fund with policies on how to withdraw funds and same is true of elders. there is also a scholarship trust fund. and so there are trust funds for specific group. if 0355-14 not approved then settlement will be divided up among trust funds. and then we can address housing in our communities. I inform my community about Scholarship Trust Fund and I informed them that if they want a portion of settlement to be used for set asides then they need to pass resolution and also resolutions on how to use settlement. So perhaps we should Table 0355-14.
DELEGATE DUANE TSINIGINE
let’s respect legislation which says establishment of The Sihasin Fund. I told my constituents that the Council was only establishing fund and not an expenditure plan. Each chapter has priority list and we need to see all notes on public hearings before creating expenditure plan. And so i ask ot remove language regarding education and housing.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
if look at number one, it is broad to cover expenditure plans that you are proposing. Elderly nursing homes and youth centers are a part of community development. i understand you want to win loyalty from constituents but let’s wait to create expenditure plan. but first let’ establish Fund and then Expenditure pLan.
we also talked about leveraging these funds to fund even more projects and you all will not be left out.
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ
the way i see this legislation, it will set guidelines for expenditures plan and why i am making amendment for elderly nursing homes and youth centers. there was also scholarship and infrastructure. so we are just putting input of community. we set the tone of the expenditure plan which will go to next council. i respectfully ask colleagues for support and to give me your vote of support as Xmas gift for me and people.
COUNCIL VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1, USE SETTLEMENT FOR ELDERLY NURSING HOMES AND YOUTH CENTERS, 6 IN FAVOR, 9 OPPOSED