The following are four proposed legislation for the Navajo Nation Council and its standing committees that have started the 5-day public comment period. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and mailed to Executive Director, Office of Legislative Services, Box 3390, Window Rock, Ariz. 86515. The phone number for the executive director is 928-871-7586.
0141-14 – Intergovernmental Agreement – Navajo Nation and Arizona State University
0142-14 – Plan of Operation – Department of Family Services
0143-14 – Plan of Operation – Social Services Administration
0144-14 – Plan of Operation – Department of Self-Reliance
0141-14 amends a 2009 intergovernmental agreement between the Navajo Nation and Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. for the development of the Department of Dine’ Education. The proposed amendments include extension of the agreement from 2014 to 2016 and for disputes that cannot be informally resolved to be moved to the American Arbitration Association. The five day comment period ends on June 14, and it becomes eligible for action by a standing committee of the Navajo Council on June 15. The first committee that 0141-14 goes before is Health, Education and Human Services Committee, then the Budget and Finance Committee, and Naabik’iyati Committee. The Council has final action on 0141-14.
For all proposed legislation, the Speaker assigns all proposed legislation to committees. The list of committees is stamped on the top right hand side of the proposed legislation. On the top left side of the proposed legislation is the time and date of when the proposed legislation was electronically posted to the Council’s website for Legislation (http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/legislation.html). Under the time and date of the electronic posting is the date when the five-day public comment ends for proposed legislation. And under that date is the date for when the proposed legislation can go before a standing committee.
For 0142-14, the five-day public comment period ends on June 14 and is eligible for committee action on June 15. The Health, Education and Human Services Committee is the only committee assigned to 0142-14, which means that the HEHS Committee has final approval or disapproval. 0142-14 proposes to move the Navajo Nation’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the P.L. 93-638 Financial Assistance Programs (General Assistance, Burial/Funeral Assistance and Emergency Assistance) back to the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services’ (DSS) Department of Family Services (DFS) from the Navajo Department for Self Reliance, effective June 30, 2014.
0143-14 has the same five-day public comment period end day and eligibility date for committee action as 0142-14. And 0143-14, like 0142-14, only goes before one committee, the Health, Education and Human Services Committee. 0143-14 is related to 0142-14 because 0143-14 proposes to change the Navajo Department of Self Reliance to a program.
And 0144-14 is also related to 0142-14 and 0143-14 because 0144-14 proposes to amend the plan of operation for the Navajo Department of Self Reliance. The proposed amendment, like 0143-14, reduces the Department of Self Reliance to a program in the Navajo Division of Social Services. And 0144-14, like 0142-14 and 0143-14, the Health, Education and Human Services Committee has final action.
A special note here is that in all the proposed legislation – 0142-14, 0143-14, 0144-14 – lack justification for the movement of services back to Division of Social Services Department of Family Services from the Department of Self Reliance. The only justification that I can find is from a STATEMENT from Department of Self Reliance Director Roxanne Gorman, who stated that Navajo Council Delegate Dwight Witherspoon, who is a member of the Health, Education and Human Services Committee, presented complaints against DSR that she was not allowed to see because Witherspoon was afraid that Gorman would retaliate against the complaintants.