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Native American Legislative Update - April 2017

May 9, 2017

Congress is most absorbed these days with budget issues and health care repeal and replacement -- both of which affect Indian Country deeply.

But other issues are developing as well, including juvenile justice reform, new efforts to open up cyberspace to Indian country, and reactions to presidential declarations of national monuments.

Most immediately -- May 5 is a day to remember missing and murdered Native women and girls.

You can download the whole Update here (a .pdf file), or explore each of the articles listed below.

Update We Remember You 

Day of Remembrance of Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls

May 5 has been chosen as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. Reps. Chaffetz (UT) and Grijalva (AZ) have proposed a resolution, H. Res. 222, calling on Congress to support the Day.

Update UPDATED: Following the Money 

More than 180 days late, Congress finally passed a spending bill for the current fiscal year – FY2017 – on May 5. Indian programs fared relatively well in this continuing resolution – better than many other domestic programs, but not as well as military programs.

Update UPDATED: Effects of Health Care Repeal in Indian Country 

Until last week, Congress was unable to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But the House decided to try again, with a modified version of the defeated proposal, the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). The House passed the bill with a very slim margin (5 votes) on Friday, May 5.

Update Monuments and Presidents and Congress 

The Bears Ears National Monument - a Protection or a Power Projection?

How do you make a national monument in southeastern Utah? If you are the president, you can issue a proclamation. Under the Antiquities Act of 1906, the president can declare federal lands (or marine areas) as national monuments to protect them from destruction by commercial use or development.

Update Justice for Native Youth 

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is being reauthorized in Congress this spring. How will it work for Native youth?

Update Connecting - with Spirit and Cyberspace 

Legislation and new regulations may open access to the Internet for remote Native American and other rural communities. Are developers listening to tribes?