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Legislations approved by Naabik’íyáti’ Committee move forward to Navajo Nation Council special session

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WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ. – Over the span of two days, the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee of the 24th Navajo Nation Council held a Special Meeting to pass 21 legislations, with 18 legislations moving forward to the Navajo Nation Council. Due to time constraints during the Special Meeting, Legislation No. 0240-22 and Legislation No. 0251-22 timed out but have the opportunity to move onto the next Special Session.

During old business of the approved agenda, Legislation No. 0232-21, sponsored by Hon. Seth Damon and co-sponsored by Hon. Elmer P. Begay, passed to approve oil and gas operating agreements between the Navajo Nation and Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company for Tohachee Wash, Beautiful Mountain, and Porcupine Dome in San Juan County.

Legislation No. 0232-21 would allow NNOGC to conduct oil and gas explorations in these areas and begin production of the resources found. Although the bill passed, concerns surrounding the language within the Memorandum of Understanding were voiced.

On new business, two consent agendas with 12 legislations were unanimously passed which would approve Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Delegate Region Project Plans for Hon. Amber K. Crotty, Hon. Wilson C. Stewart, Elmer, Hon. Vince R. James, Hon. Kee Allen Begay, Jr., Hon. Eugene Tso, and Hon. Nathaniel Brown, among others.

Furthermore, Legislation No. 0241-22 sponsored by Hon. Jamie Henio and co-sponsors Hon. Pernell Halona and Hon. Daniel E. Tso was passed to approve the purchase of the 6,349 acre property near Tohajíílee, N.M., known as the Chaves Ranch.

With the approximate $19 million purchase, the bill would also direct the Executive Director of the Division of Natural Resources and the Department Manager of the Navajo Land Department to immediately initiate and process the purchase of the Chaves Ranch.

In addition, Legislation No. 0259-22 was passed to approve an allocation of $8 million from the Síhasin Fund to provide loans and support for microenterprises, small businesses, businesses, and community development projects across the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Community Development Financial Institution will utilize these funds over the course of five years with a portion provided for administrative and support costs.

The Síhasin Fund provides financial support and/or financing for community and regional infrastructure to promote economic development within the Navajo Nation. Hon. Jimmy Yellowhair was the sponsor and Hon. Edison J. Wauneka is the co-sponsor for this bill.

During the Special Meeting, Legislation No. 0238-22 was also approved, which would appropriate over $1.8 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance for Navajo Nation Chapters to respond to weather-related emergencies expected this winter season.

Sponsored by Eugene and co-sponsored Daniel and Hon. Thomas Walker, Jr., the bill would approve all 110 Chapters to receive sufficient funding to replenish each of their Emergency Fund accounts back to the established amount of $25,000.

Legislation No. 0232-22 as the last bill approved, would allocate over $17.5 million from the Síhasin Fund for the Navajo Nation Shopping Centers, Inc. to implement and complete its proposed expansion project for the Dilkon Shopping Center along with the project’s expenditure plan.

Sponsored by Elmer and co-sponsored by Walker, the bill explains the estimated costs of the project, anticipated local economic benefits, potential tax revenues, and other matters regarding the expansion project. Additionally, Dilkon Chapter submitted a resolution expressing their full support for NNSCI’s project as it would bring in additional tax revenue to the Navajo Nation.

Immediately following the conclusion of the Special Meeting, the 24th Navajo Nation Council will convene to begin a two-day Special Session to hear over 30 legislations. All legislations needing Navajo Nation Council as final authority and are not considered during the Special Session will expire at the end of the year.

Staff Reports