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Funding the Issue as Navajo Nation Council Overrides a Nez Veto

Funding the Issue as Navajo Nation Council Overrides a Nez Veto
September 11
05:58 2020

TITLE: Navajo Council Overrides Veto

By John Christian Hopkins

Pres. Jonathan Nez

By a unanimous vote the Navajo Nation Council overrode a presidential veto of a continuing resolution tied to funding.

With the current fiscal year about to end on September 30, the 24th Council approved a continuing resolution to provide automatic funding for Navajo Nation programs for the new fiscal year beginning October 1.

The CR authorized Navajo Nation program funding levels for a limited period if no comprehensive budget is enacted by Sept. 30.

However Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez vetoed the resolution. Nez has been a proponent of the Nation’s programs operating on a two-year budget plan.

With this fiscal year nearing its end, it appears more and more likely that council won’t pass a new comprehensive budget by October 1.

The council and its five standing committees have been conducting legislative oversight budget hearings since August 24 as part of a drastically condensed comprehensive budget process. The fiscal year comprehensive budget authorizes the regular Navajo Nation program allocations and is a process separate from allocating Navajo Nation CARES Funds.

The current budget process is comprised of 28 recommending legislation containing program budgets approved by standing committees that are now being considered by the Budget and Finance Committee.

However, concerns by council delegates over changes to program budgets, such as the reduction of agency veterans organization funding, may present challenges to approving the proposed budgets at the remaining committee levels.

“Ensuring the Navajo Nation is funded when October 1st arrives is our goal,” Speaker Seth Damon said. “The Navajo Nation Council’s budget priorities continue to be based on an over-all response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it may take more time to ensure direct services to the Navajo People don’t suffer under rapidly shifting budgets.”

The comprehensive budget includes programs funded by the Navajo Nation’s general fund revenues, as projected for the coming fiscal year by the Office of the Controller. The projected revenues must match expenditures under the Navajo Nation Appropriations Act, which requires a balanced budget.

Council’s veto override will extend the previously approved fiscal year 2020 program funding levels for a period of six months.

The Navajo Nation Council voted 23-0 to override Nez’s veto.

Funding the Issue as Navajo Nation Council Overrides a Nez Veto - overview

Summary: Funding the Issue as Navajo Nation Council Overrides a President Nez Veto

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