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 LEONARD TSOSIE
I’d like to report from Controller Mark Grant about status of settlement.
the settlement was invested in advanced portfolio. Permanent Trust Fund is invested in stock and bonds. if council approves 0355-14, then those settlement funds would be transferred to specific account for settlement.
Delegate Phelps described investment of settlement correctly when he called it a “rollover.”
we can give report on Dec. 30 special council session.
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ
i guess we are suppose to be on amendment from Russell Begaye. I feel that Controller Grant made good decision by putting settlement in safe place where it’s also making more money. Questions from public hearings on settlement regarding set asides for veterans, land included veterans supporting set aside, which is $22 million. So we are not listening to people and public hearings. the veterans are looking at using their trust fund for homes. but here we are talking about taking that money from veterans if this legislation passes. Thank you Mr. Grant.
DELEGATE ROLAND TSO
we had this discussion about housing for veterans and elders when Navajo Housing Authority came before us. We know housing needed. They are needed out there. We have veterans ready to give up. We also need support services for our people who are seriously injuried who are sent off reservation. WE need trauma centers too. Secondly, law enforcement – we compare land base to West Virginia and we only have 700 police officers and West Virginia has 3,000. Lastly, once allocate homes, we start range wars, land disputes. we need to look at that if focus on housing. and people only think of privacy when deciding where to build homes which are in areas that should be protected.
DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
first thing, i would assume most of dollars go to economic development then community development. housing only identified as “included.” last one says educational opportunities from pre-kindergarten to post secondary education. And the word there is priority for veterans and elders. i’m not saying housing only for veterans and elders. i’m assuming that most of settlement will be for infrastructure and education and that is why i’m already advocating for veterans and elders.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY, SPONSOR OF LEGISLATION 0355-14.
We have a lot of needs and so Task Force recommended that the funds be preserved through investments so funds available for future generations. but what hearing now is to spend funds. so we need to come with plan on how to use funds while preserving them. so think about that as you vote on Amendment to make veterans and elders the priority for housing.
DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
our committee reports don’t show failed amendments and council floor rules mandate that no failed amendments can’t be brought to council unless have petition. if look at all committee reports, there are only approved amendments and no failed amendments.
COUNCIL VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1, MAKE VETERANS & ELDERS PRIORITY FOR HOUSING, 6 IN FAVOR, 11 OPPOSED