Speaker Bates pushing $1.6M for 110 chapters


An Action Relating to Health, Education and Human Services, Resources and Development, Budget and Finance and Naabik’iyati’ Committees and Navajo Nation Council; Adopting the Sihasin Fund Powerline and Chapter Projects Expenditure Plan pursuant to CD-68-14, as amended by CJA-03-18, and 12 N.N.C. §§ 810 (F), 820 (I) and (M) and 860 (C) relating to the Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Process
Legislation Description
The legislation approves a three year funding plan for the Sihasin Fund for Chapter and Powerline Projects for communities across the Navajo Nation.

SPEAKAER LORENZO BATES deals with 110 chapters. as u are well aware, chapters go thru porces of establishing needed projects in communities and that has its own process. local level chapters do resolutions which come to window rock. when it gets to window rock, most cases there is no funding. in NM, chapters able to request dollars from NM. but all other entities in NM compete. And Navajo has only one representative. Arizona has no funds. Only when Sen. Hale got funds for court house. Utah started to do some things but their focus is education. At Monument Valley, when get to intersection at Gouldings, there will be round about. Going back to Arizona, Navajo Transitional Provisional Tax that goes to Arizona. Any given year that can be $10M to $15M to Arizona and goes to counties. Navajo Nation has gotten very little back. So there is lack of funds for chapter projects. that amount today, $105 billion in projects sitting there, idle with no funding. Given that history of limited resources. Council directive for plan and to draw down $100M from Sihasin. And not only chapter projects in book we have but other projects that chapter wanted to seek funds for. Other was sit down and talk to chapters one on one and what two assistants did. And legislative drafted which is in front of you now. Thur Sihasin $234M expened. if this to move forward, $335M expended from Sihasin. All projects listed here were vetted for shovel ready and most ec development or support local ec development. So fulfilling Council priorities. Also took in consideration, how far out, second, third and fourth year compared to Permanent Trust Fund capital improvement projects which is five year. so limiting time and any project funds not expended will revert back to Sihasin in two years cuz no want dollars sit there and as soon as money withdraw from Sihasin then not generating interest.

Regarding sanctioned chapters, 10 percent of these funds will not be withheld.

RDC MEMBER JONATHAN PERRY a chapter in my area was added without agreement by other chapters and this chapter also unaware. And the three chapters that were decided to move forward are in compliance with policies so why encourage chapters that not in compliance. That was rationale of chapters that met with me and that was decision of three chapters, not me. And I know I will be questioned about this when 8 chapters meet at district meeting. These three chapters worked on projects for a very long time and now this chapter, which just recently decided to be part of this legislation.

CIP SHERILYN YAZZIE as compiing project listing, we received from Crownpoint. It took $60,000 from Tseahe Head Start. We put in year three.

RDC MEMBER PERRY see that Crownpoint Chapter had  no attachments to its resolution.

RDC CHAIRMAN ALTON SHEPHERD i told my chapters that not right for me to decide where $836,000 for each chapter goes. But one chapter $611 and another almost $1M. But I told my chapter, they would get equal amounts. And I dk how true this document is. And what happens with next Council? Navajo law mandates Capital Improvement Plan but Council waived law. This is more driven by $4M and Sihasin Subcommittee and why feel unfair. And it will take 16 Yes votes from Council to approve this. And i put my name on this cuz chapters believed would be equal. And this legislation could push Sihasin Fund into red. And yes, this is an election year. I can understand RDC members Perry and Leonard Perry. Navajo Tribal Utility Authority not here but gets chunk of money. Goes back to fairness – some construction ready, and then other need planning versus powerlines. So instead of saying have $100M to use ask if this fair. I dk cuz not part of Sihasin Subcommkittee. Speaker Bates you would know but again this needs 16 Yes votes. For example, Jeddito needs electricity and running water and they are very remote. But thank you Speaker for taking time and again needs 16 Yes votes.

SPEAKER these are separate monies so five year CIP law not apply. And we took to Council and Councll said no powerline projects but we added some powerline projects. And it was surprising to us to listen to chapters which had thick book and powerline extensions. Surprise chapters scratched powerline projects. when it came to equal distribution, if a project using your assessment, if a project at less dollars in terms of equal distribution, that shifted to project needing more dollars. And regarding chapters represented by you, some of your chapters had projects that needed more funding than equal distribution. Regarding next council, that council has that prerogative and could add language for next council to amend. i can understand cuz things may change and may need to be amended.

RDC MEMBER SHEPHERD comprehensive CIP repeatedly waived and Council created loophole or circumvent what we wanted to do so asking if better to create and approve Five Year CIP and use these funds to leverage Five Year CIP. And caution cuz someone will complain that some chapters not receive equal amount. I explained that to my chapters – regardless if short or over or under. Told chapters getting $611,000. And you know that Speaker and Dana Bobroff. $611,000 should be bottom line for my chapters cuz this is what delegates recommended.

DANA BOBROFF i drafted legislation and i didn’t talk to any delegate in drafting. regarding waiver for CIP cautionary and don’t believe need. If look at Sihasin Fund plan of operation, there was language that didn’t need to comply with Five Year CIP law. We explained to chapters, Sihasin Fund different, one time funding. This is not intended to replace CIP, can pull project off CIP. Encouraged to continue to work on. As met individually w chapters, was good experience for them to move CIP. And Sherilyn program working to move Five Year CIP forward.

RDC CHAIRMAN SHEPHERD with all Sihasin projects here, is there guarantee that no presidential veto and attorney general always comes in and stops and have to redo. so were they a part of this? dk what their positions are former President Shelly signed and allowed.

SPEAKER I’ve head in passing discussion before we started down the path and going through the path, they were hearing what going on and they expressed concerns but not in detail. and now that completed, will meet with president and attorney general. on line item, dana can answer.

DANA BOBROOF as far as department of justice, didn’t work on plan but aware and Budget and Finance department of justice attorney sat in on Sihasin Fund meeting. I asked for comments early on is issues to be addressed but haven’t heard anything. No discussion with president because poltical thing. Some of president’s staff sat in on meetings in Albuquerque. Line Item Veto, there is and has been continuing issues between legislative and president’s office. If line item veto then disrupts plan which is equal distribution and distort totals and negate any chapter choices. I’m proud of the work that went into plan and that based on community choice and chapters involved. President cannot appropriate and president cannot replace project if line item vetoes.

SPEAKER as speaker, i have maintained same position. not until legislative counsel said send across street and took about month before i sent across the street and also other delegates said send across street. so if council says send across then will but breaking law – Sihasin says not need to send across. However president can hold on by telling controller to hold onto dollars. so back to Dana’s comment that then goes to court to settle. I took position on last line item veto and that didn’t go to court.

RDC CHAIRMAN SHEPHERD i would encourage sit down with president. And i recommended law regarding overriding presidential line item veto of conditions of appropriations. But have delayed for two years so we need to sit down with president and remember that common denominator is what is in the best interest of the people. Support sitting down with him instead of going to court. Always good to be part of discussion and lead. Won’t be perfect but know answer at end of day.

CPMD DIRECTOR SHERILYN  it was strenuous compiling 210 plus projects and Shepherd’s chapters’ power line projects were reviewed. And we can move your power line projects from year three to year one. And i can meet with you on funding request from your chapters. There were few delegates that came with completed packets. Dana informed delegates to have chapters submit by March 23 and by Friday had overwhelming submission of chapter projects. And what here is what your chapters submitted. And again we can go over what your chapters submitted.

SPEAKER we anticipate that there will be amendments but prefer amendments at Naabik’iyati which is Thursday and Council starts Monday.

VOTE ON 0116-18, 3-0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *