Bill to clarify line-item veto passes

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation Council's Budget and Finance Committee passed legislation on Tuesday that recommends amending tribal law to clarify the president's line-item veto authority over a condition of appropriation, a press release from the Office of the Speaker states.

Navajo Nation

According to language used in the legislation, a two-step process is used to amend that section of tribal law.

The first step requires the Budget and Finance Committee to approve a bill that recommends amending the tribe's Appropriations Act, which outlines the process for developing the annual comprehensive budget.

The next step is introducing separate legislation to amend the Appropriations Act, and that bill must be considered by the Law and Order and the Naa'bik'íyáti' committees, and the Navajo Nation Council, where final authority rests.

Speaker LoRenzo Bates said in the release when the Navajo people approved a referendum in 2009 that authorized the line-item veto authority for the president, it did not apply to accountability measures such as a condition of appropriation.

Bates added the bill approved on Tuesday does not remove the line-item veto authority, and he invited tribal President Russell Begaye to discuss the proposed amendment.

Begaye did not attend the committee meeting, but Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez was there on behalf of the president's office, the release states.