Navajo Nation Council approves fiscal year budget

The Daily Times staff
The Navajo Nation Council meets on Jan. 26 for the start of the winter session at the council chambers in Window Rock, Ariz.

FARMINGTON — Members of the Navajo Nation Council have approved a comprehensive budget for fiscal year 2017 for the tribe.

Delegates on Thursday voted 19-1 in favor of approving a $626.4 million budget, according to a press release from the Office of the Speaker.

The budget includes about $165.9 million in general funds and approximately $460.4 million in federal, state and private funding.

The amount is expected to be distributed between the three branches, with executive branch receiving $565.6 million, the legislative branch receiving $15.3 million and the judicial branch receiving $14.6 million.

During the special session last week, the council passed 21 amendments to the budget, according to the press release.

Among the amendments were allocating approximately $1.4 million to the Navajo Area Agency on Aging and $840,000 to assist in implementing a comprehensive AMBER alert system, the release states.

The $840,000 would also fund a rural addressing project and pay to hire a criminal investigator and coroner consultant, according to the release.

Other amendments provide funds for the Navajo Police Department to use on ammunition, training and uniforms and for the construction of 35 earth dams across the reservation.

The bill will be sent to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye for his review.

Begaye has 10 calendar days after the bill is submitted to his office to sign, veto or use his line-item authority on the measure. A spokesman for the speaker's office said today that the bill has not yet been submitted to the president.