Farmington — Navajo lawmakers have voted down legislation to issue a $220 million bond to fund economic development projects on the reservation.
Delegates voted nine in favor and seven opposed during a special session Tuesday, but the bill required two-thirds vote to pass, according to a press release from the Office of the Speaker.
The bond would have been divided into $100 million in the form of long-term fixed rate bonds and $120 million in the form of bank loans. It would have funded projects listed on a five-year plan submitted by the Navajo Division of Economic Development and utility projects by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.
Delegate Katherine Benally sponsored the bill and urged its passage to promote economic and employment opportunities, according to the press release.
"It provides the opportunity to the small business people, entrepreneurs, and even bigger entities and enterprises a chance to make a difference in our Navajo Nation economy," Benally said.
There were also concerns about the effect some of the proposed projects would have on existing small businesses, and the list did not include projects from each chapter.