Speaker Bates responds to Council questions & concerns

SPEAKER BATES responds to questions and concerns of Council regarding SPEAKER’S REPORT:

NM Capital Outlay Projects: in this case any projects not spending funds has always been concern by state. Dollars authorized but dollars sit there. it was requested of Office of President and Vice President to work on path so dollars expended. For example, my chapter had $124,000 for senior center but process delays so have to get fund reauthorized. New money is $330M compared $990M estimated in December. So u can see Navajo nation can benefit. As of today, we have not gotten indicataion of how bill drafted and impat to Navajo Nation regarding Gas Tax at Rack, which means paying more. carry step forward, tribes excempted and that go away. we took postion last year that we oppose and that bill didn’t go any further but introduced again. GAMING, we have compact with NM and bill for alcohol on gaming floor. if this becomes law, it has to come to council first cuz already have statute that stays off gaming floor. i presume gaming make known if want alcohol on gaming floor. Fantasy Gaming was attempted last year. we’ve all seen on TV ads/commercials and primarily football which are outside slot machines. question is will it violate gaming compact. so very interesting how draft that language. obviously all gaming tribes in NM follow as well as Navajo Nation on how deal moves forward if moves forward. if violates, gaming tribes will make it know. if violate compact, what does that mean. does that mean tribal gaming revenues to state would cease, nearly $180M. so state looking at this.

Energy: regards PNM, acorss from Four Corners, head close in 2022. we don’t reveive any revenue from that plant but nearly 300-400 navjos work there. as deal with closure of NGS loss revenues and jobs, apply same scenario and apply to Four Corners. Bill SB 47, Jacob candelaria and another in HOuse, going thru process as speak. see how that turns out.

PUBLIC SAFETY, Human Trafficking: thru Delegate Crotty subcommittee, this being address at state level.

EXPOSURE DEATH, if bill to prevent, Nsvajo supports.

FIRST NET as applies to Navajo, particulary western, there are areas without service so when call 911, it goes to town 40 miles away to first responders. ATT awarded dollars to address but before goest ot next stop in terms of collaboration with treibes and Navajo largest in three states, next step is come ot Navajo and work w public safety on where towers needed. Chairman Edmund Begay very active. Public Safety, Community Development, Regulatory Commission all involved.

HUMAN SERVICES, marijuana: Delegate Lee Jack introduced bill. But US Attorney General Sessions said not looking other way any more. Paiutes has huge dispensary. States took positon, no to Session and Session overstepping. Session says federal law. If Sessions wins, then Delegate Lee Jack’s bill goes away. But if Sessions win then applies to Indian County. In US FArm Bill, we are looking at possibility, language in there that applies only to state. can we amend FArm Bill? that is being researched as we speak that would talk to Indian Country as a whole.

WATER RIGHTS even though settlement in NM, had several meetings. ipage 3: Arizona, TAsk Force working on. Gaming Chairman Shepherd deals with 16 gaming tribes. Time is not on our side. Revenue Sharing is undere negotiations.  Had meeting Friday on gaming.

EDUCATION IN AZ Iis priority and only way for Az Govenor to get $300M is from gaming. what are tribes willing to give in exchange for $300M.

WATER as indicated, Az has less water than ever had and they are looking to keep every drop of water. Delegate Witherspoon and I have been advocating to sit down but before sit down w Az to negotiate, Navajo and Hopi have to settle. Longer draws out, the less water Navajo get. NGS closure, 50,000 acre foot water, January 2020, goes away. Az wants to keep all water flowing, not tied up in settlement. Fortunate enough to attend Hopi inauguration and outlined several point to sit down leadership to leadership. their answer to me, sooner than later. beginning next week, reach out ot Hopi leadership and sit down together and look at thoughts, not just water but gaming and other things.

TRANSITION PRIVELEGE TAX talks to revenues generated by taxes. $48M for all tribes in Az. nearly $16M and Navajo contributes more than $20M and we have been trying to get more tax dollars back. of all these points, witherspoon spent all day talking so know where they are coming from.

Az Health CAre Cost Containment is how impact Navajo.

UTAH has always been a little different. and so we have been adjusting to that. first year bears ears not too much issue. when went up to Utah this year, state legislature spoke out. tere have ben suggestions/possibilities but have to work w coaltion of tribes, chapters. and said cannot go against Council. that has been our positon. support bears ears and if any changes then work with chpaters in area and coalition.

so these are areas state task force, vice chair witherspoon had bill with priorities of nation and followed priorities of council when came into office.

ON ELECTION, we will sit down with election office. in moving ethics office, auditor general, government development office from office of speaker, we have to amend plans of operations. dollars associated with those programs would go withi programs wherever council relocates.

SCHOOL DISTRICT ISSUE INVOLVING WINDOW ROCK, update sent to council delegates.

ALAMO LAND EXCHANGE was under Resources and Development.

GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT: had discussion with them Thursday morning and they are looking to amend plan of operation to reduce members. they were scheduled to meet sunday but cancelled. if my understanding correct, move from legislative branch. but where?

LOBBYIST IN UTAH: had one and no longer have one. consensus of state task force was to use Az lobbist which included Carlisle Begay, cuz understood Utah.  Begay had connection with Utah and meeting 10 am with Navajo Utah Commission Jan. 26.

DROUGH INSURANCE came from Council even though president included in his STate of Nation. Council appropriated dollars if not get enough moisture. so getting dollars back and first check be here, $5.5M, this week. what do with those dollars? if recall legislation, dollars came from Sihasin Fund so return except for excess. See more trailers with livestock/cattle going off rez to sell livestock. there are more cows and sheep in trailers but not horses. so legislation on how to use excess is buying grain and drill wells. go directly chapters? Or let branch handle? Horse issue: 40,000; put bounty on them. if horse only bring $100 cud Navajo Nation say give ths amount per horse and will it decrease feral horse population?

On special Council session on legislation to appropriate supplemental funding from Undesignated, Unreserved Fund: special session being planned for Feb. 14 or 15.




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