Proposal for $44M for each 24 Navajo Nation legislative districts, Naabik’iyati meeting 10 am, 3.24.22, Twin Arrows Casino & Resort

10:59 am, 3.24.22
COUNCIL DELEGATES VINCE JAMES
We have families dedicated to installing their own water projects and are spending their Hardship Assistance on plumbing supplies because they are frustrated with Navajo Nation govt system of delivering water and bathroom additions to their homes. I know that these families can be reimbursed by ARPA.

We need a listing of the requests from families through their chapters to Indian Health Services for their Water Projects and so there should be a List with a Project Number. My five chapters have stepped in to help bathroom additions. Some approved but we have to wait for IHS to bring in certified plumbers. We are told bathroom additions approved and waiting for sink, tub, heater, etc. from IHS. And then IHS tells families that got chapter assistance to construct bathroom addition that IHS & OEH don’t have enough funds to hook up the bathroom with water.

Navajo Division of Community Director Pearl Yellowman admitted on record that chapters were misinformed about the number of ARPA projects that each chapter could submit. My chapters submitted three ARPA projects because they were informed that the limit for chapter ARPA was three instead of five. And so some chapters have five ARPA projects approved.

LAW & ORDER COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN EUGENIA CHARLES-NEWTON
More than 400,000 Dine’ living on and off rez, but the four proposals before us are for Dine’ who are registered voters at a chapter.
Navajo facing federal deadline to spend ARPA funds. We had discussion with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority about length of time to process Right of Ways. And NTUA and Indian Health Services are saying that the cost of material has skyrocketed. Hearing six months to five years to get ROW.
$6.50 average gas rate and Arizona has highest gas rate. Most of 110 chapters are in rural areas so take into account the war, gas prices, and supply chain.
Forget argument of my chapter, my chapter. What I am hearing is that some chapters are more important than others.
Are the four proposed amendments for all Dine’ or only registered voters.
We need discussion of who needs water. There is a housing listing too and so are we going to reimburse those Dine’ that are building their own homes. That is one thing that if do for one then do for all. Understand how families are installing their own bathroom additions.
I know NTUA did breakdown because Navajo Division of Community Development & Navajo Engineering & Construction didn’t provide.

12:17 pm, 3.24.22
NEZ-LIZER DIVISION OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR PEARL YELLOWMAN
(Navajo Nation 110 chapters under Division of Community Development (DCD)
Division of Community Development, on APRIL 21, 2021, without US Treasury guidelines, we asked chapters to submit three projects, which would be 230 projects. But learned three projects difficult at chapter level even though need greater. Expanded project number from three to five, expanded scope of project work that included broadband, housing, rural addressing, warehouses, expanded deadlines. We have not closed DCD portal but changed during meeting with Resources & Development Committee at Twin Arrows.
We are still accepting chapter projects. And DCD portals would become Navajo Nation Portal.
More than 4700 individuals with bathroom needs.

12:23 PM, 3.24.22
BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE member AMBER KANAZBAH CROTTY
All 110 chapters feel they are chronically left without resources, funding and that creates tension among chapters and relatives. What saw with land dispute and now at government level. When nomalize this type of violence then not work well and support dysfunctional system.
Appreciate all colleagues discussions to make communities safer and better to live together.
From conversation yesterday, I’d like email response. Important that every delegate receive technical support because information requires additional support to understand ARPA process, especially role of Navajo Justice Dept in reviewing and determining what chapter projects/ARPA projects are eligible.
President walked out of room and so no time to ask Where are Areas of Concern? During dinner, Nez spoke informally about his $1.16 billion spending plan and I asked for additional information.
We need same support that was given to the Nez&Lizer team to develop ARPA projects that would be determined eligibility for ARPA funding and to be on the Nez&lizer List/Legislation 0257-21.
Many delegates ask questions to understand Nez&lizer $1.16B spending plan which shows delegates need the same type of support that the Nez&lizer ARPA projects team received.
There is a need in very part of the reservation. My amendment is for equitable distribution.

Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, Navajo Nation Council Budget and Finance Committee member Amber Kanazbah Crotty has a Counter Proposal to President Nez and Vice President Lizer’s proposal to spend the balance of the Navajo Nation ARPA Funds, $1.16 Billion, on infrastructure that Nez and Lizer selected.

Crotty is proposing an amendment to Legislation 0257-13, the Nez-Lizer $1.16 Billion ARPA spending plan, which would equally divide the $1.16 billion among the 24 legislative districts that the Council’s 24 delegates represent, which would amount to more than $44 million for each of the delegates to spend on community projects from the local governments or chapters and Dine’ non-profits.

The Council has held numerous work sessions on the Nez-Lizer $1.16 billion spending proposal, which is contained in Legislation 0257-21, and repeatedly kicked it back to Nez and Lizer because there were no detailed budgets of exactly where the $1.16 billion would be spent, and the distribution of the $1.16 billion for infrastructure among the 110 chapters was not equitable.

Legislation 0257-21, which Speaker Seth Damon is sponsoring and Resources and Development Committee member Mark Freeland and Health, Education and Human Services Committee member Pernell Halona are co-sponsoring, returns to the Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee Thursday and Friday. The Naabik’iyati Committee, which recommends legislation to the Council, is meeting at the Navajo Nation Twin Arrows Casino & Resort, near Flagstaff, Arizona.

Crotty, in a video on her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/amber.kanazbah.crotty), stated that after lengthy discussions with community members on Legislation 0257-21, she realized that a lot of unknows exists regarding the Nez and Lizer $1.16 billion infrastructure ARPA expenditure plan because the public has not been fully informed.

She noted that her proposal to equally divide the $1.16 billion among the 24 legislative districts is based on “equity,” which never been used.

The Navajo Nation government’s direct funding of the Nation’s 110 chapters is not equitable because it involves a 50-50 formula that is based on equally dividing 50% of the funds among the 110 chapters and then dividing the remaining 50% based on each chapter’s voter registration numbers, Crotty explained.

And so, she said it is very important for everyone over the age of 18 years to register to vote because it supports the funding of scholarships, housing, and community-led projects, which empowers local governance.

Crotty added that when the Council reviewed how Nez and Lizer would spend the $1.16 billion in ARPA funds, she asked Nez and Lizer how they prioritized infrastructure projects, how they developed their funding amounts, and what they did to ensure that they had the building capacity to finish all their infrastructure projects by 2026 or face the return of the $1.16 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

She noted that her legislative districts have several critically needed water projects that were planned more than a decade ago, but they are not the Nez and Lizer ARPA funding list, which prompted her to work on an amendment to Legislation 0257-21, which is for the 24 legislative districts to receive more than $44 million each to fund community-based projects that have a regional impact.

“Chapter submitted their projects for water, broadband, electricity and other projects,” Crotty recalled. “While reviewing the legislation council was made aware that eligible projects were not added to legislation because the executive team developed specific amounts for water, broadband and electricity. There are additional eligible projects that need to be added to legislation. IHS received funding for some water projects and need to update their list w additional community members who need water. The chapters were unaware that the majority of projects in DCD (Division of Community Development) portal (submitted last summer) were not submitted for eligibility review by DOJ. The only projects submitted for eligibility are projects in Legislation 0257-21 or the IHS water listing.”

Nez responded to Crotty’s equal distribution plan for the $1.16 billion in a Wednesday email: “Our administration worked with the Legislative Branch and put forth a revised proposal during the March 3 work session, that outlined funding based on the 24 regions represented by the 24 members of the Council. We understand that several delegates want the $1 billion distributed equally among the 24 members, but there are many challenges with that approach.

“Some members of the Council have spoken about allocating the remaining ARPA funds equally among the 24 council delegates and allowing each delegate to allocate the funds at their discretion,” he stated. “We have to remember that back in 2010, the Navajo Nation faced an issue with spending which was at the discretion of elected officials. The Nation must be more careful with the APRA funds as it comes from the federal government with rules and regulations which the Navajo Nation Department of Justice is diligently complying with. Any misuse of funding by the Nation may result in having to repay the funds or audit findings. Dividing the remaining APRA funds could result in funds not being spent correctly, not encumbered in time, or funding projects that are not construction, project, or shovel ready.”

Nez also stated, “Certain projects are ready to begin construction immediately and others need more time to complete preliminary requirements and clearances. Also, several council members have multiple chapters in rural communities needing immediate infrastructure compared to council members who have one or two chapters with existing infrastructure. The need is greater within many rural communities, and time is of the essence. Construction season is near and we are far behind schedule. We need action from the Council now.”

According to Crotty, the Northern Agency Council and Jeddito Chapter passed resolutions supporting her proposal.

She acknowledged that the Council has voiced their concerns about Nez using the presidential line-item budget veto authority on her proposal: “I believe the way LIV (line-item veto) is being used is without the involvement of the impacted community/people. There is no evidence that they are consulted or OPVP (Office of the President and Vice President) provides guidance on how to address the need with alternative funding.

“A conversation about LIV override needs to take place,” Crotty emphasized. “A suggestion is Title 26 amendments, which requires a majority of supporting chapter resolutions to approve. The chapters should also be engaged in the impact of the LIV and having the authority to override the LIV to balance out the power.”

She said that she is tracking Nez’s line-item veto memos to the Council as to whether he is inconsistent in his reasons for using the presidential line-item veto power and whether his use of the line-item veto authority has any direct negative impacts on the well-being of the Dine’.

NAABIK’ÍYÁTI’ COMMITTEE OF THE 24th NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
(VIA TELECOMMUNICATION) Call-in Number: (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 928 871 7160, Passcode: 86515
Twin Arrows Navajo Casino & Resort, Leupp, Navajo Nation (AZ)
Thursday & Friday, March 24-25, 2022 – 9:00 AM (DST, PROPOSED AGENDA
PRESIDING CHAIR: Honorable Seth Damon, Speaker, 24th Navajo Nation Council
Hon. Seth Damon, Speaker, BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE, RESOURCES & DEVELOPMENT COM., HEALTH, EDUCATION & HUMAN SERVICES COM., LAW AND ORDER COMMITTEE
Hon. Elmer P. Begay Hon. Kee Allen Begay, Jr. Hon. Paul Begay Hon. Eugenia Charles-Newton (C) Hon. Nathaniel Brown Hon. Herman M. Daniels, Jr. Hon. Pernell Halona Hon. Vince R. James Hon. Amber Kanazbah Crotty Hon. Mark A. Freeland Hon. Carl Roessel Slater (VC) Hon. Eugene Tso Hon. Jamie Henio (C) Hon. Rickie Nez (C) Hon. Charlaine Tso Hon. Otto Tso (VC) Hon. Raymond Smith, Jr. (VC) Hon. Wilson C. Stewart, Jr. Hon. Daniel E. Tso (C) Hon. Edmund Yazzie Hon. Jimmy Yellowhair Hon. Thomas Walker, Jr. (VC) Hon. Edison J. Wauneka (C) Chair & (VC) Vice Chair

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER; ROLL CALL; INVOCATION
  2. RECOGNIZE GUESTS AND VISITING OFFICIALS (2 Minute Limit per Delegate)
  3. REVIEW AND ADOPT THE AGENDA
    (m) (s) (v)
  4. REVIEW AND ADOPT THE JOURNALS: NONE
  5. RECEIVE REPORTS: NONE
  6. OLD BUSINESS:
    A. LEGISLATION 0257-21: An Action Relating to the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee and Navajo Nation Council; Allocating $1,166,003,000 of Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Funds; Approving the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Expenditure Plans for Water and Wastewater Projects, Broadband Projects, Home Electricity Connection Projects, Housing and Housing Renovation Projects, Bathroom Addition Projects, and Hardship Assistance
    SPONSOR: Honorable Seth Damon
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Mark A. Freeland
    CO-SPONSOR: Honorable Pernell Halona
    (m) Hon. Jimmy Yellowhair (s) Hon. Wilson C. Stewart, Jr. (01/20/2022 – Motion to refer legislation 0257-21 (One Amendment) to a Naabik’íyáti’ Committee Work Session for no more than 60 days to discuss an amendment that equally distributes initially allocated Navajo Nation Federal Recovery Funds; (M) Honorable Jamie Henio; (S) Honorable Eugenia Charles-Newton; (V) 17 In Favor, 04 Opposed (Chairman Damon Not Voting)
    03/03/2022 – Naabik’íyáti’ Committee Work Session was completed.
  7. NEW BUSINESS: NONE
  8. CLOSE OF MEETING; ANNOUNCEMENTS; ADJOURNMENT
    AGENDA 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.
    Livestream will be available online at:
    VIMEO: www.vimeo.com/navajonationcouncil
    YouTube: www.youtube.com/navajonationcouncil
    NNC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/navajonationcouncil/

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