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Should Navajo Nation Casinos Reopen?

Should Navajo Nation Casinos Reopen?
October 30
08:03 2020

Should Navajo Casinos Reopen?

 By John Christian Hopkins

 

Navajo Nation tribal members are encouraged to submit input on whether or not to reopen Navajo casinos.

 

Legislation No. 0262-20 seeks the support and approval of reopening full operations of Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise facilities at a minimum 50-percent capacity, and permitting the Navajo Blue Travel Plaza to operate at full capacity.

 

The legislation is being considered by several of the 24th Navajo Nation Council’s Standing Committees. There is currently a petition being circulated among members of the council, requesting for a special session to be held on Monday, Nov. 2, to consider the legislation.

 

“As we continue to see increases in COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation and across the country, we strongly encourage all of our Navajo Nation citizens to submit their written comments in support or opposition to this legislation because the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us and the members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council need to hear your voices,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.

 

The legislation has been making its way through the standing committees without any public comments.

 

“This is the time to let your delegates know where you stand on the reopening of casinos and gaming facilities on the Navajo Nation,” Nez added.

 

The legislation outlines the economic impacts to the gaming enterprise during its shutdown, which began on March 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

If the bill isn’t passed, the NNGE will be forced to permanently close and layoff all employees by November 30, 2020.

 

If the legislation is approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council, the legislation states that the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise facilities would be allowed to “resume full operations (24 hours a day, seven days a week) at a minimum 50% capacity until such time as the Department of Health recommends and the NNGE Board of Directors deems it safe and reasonable to increase capacity.

 

Earlier this week the Resources and Development Committee, the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee each issued a “do pass” recommendation for the legislation.

 

“Please submit your written comments by email or mail to the members of the council and to the Office of the President and Vice President. Whether you support or oppose the legislation, your voices must be heard by all leaders of our Nation,” Vice President Myron Lizer said.

 

Public comments for Legislation No. 0262-20 may be submitted by email to

[email protected] and [email protected]vajo-nsn.gov and [email protected].

 

Please indicate your full name, chapter affiliation and reference Legislation No. 0262-20.

 

The Office of Legislative Services will not include anonymous comments in the legislation packet.

 

Written comments can also be mailed to: Executive Director, Office of Legislative Services, P.O. Box 3390, Window Rock, Arizona 86515.

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