Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly exercised his line-item veto authority and itemized $122,000 from legislation that outlined spending for an incubator and training facilities in Church Rock, New Mexico.
President Shelly line-item vetoed legislation CJA-02-13 on Friday, February 8. The legislation would have provided $122,000 from the Business and Industrial Development Fund for facilities in Church Rock.
Though President Shelly stated his support for business development, he line-itemed the financial part of the legislation because of the uncertain fiscal matters at the federal level.
“I maintained my position that the Nation needs to maintain sufficient amount to cover possible federal budget shortfalls. As the Navajo Nation is aware the Federal Continuing Resolution is still in effect until March 2013 and the Sequester still looms over the federal budget as well,” President Shelly wrote in his letter to the Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize.
The Navajo Nation could face budget cuts that total about $30 million.
President Shelly also cited the emergency declaration as a reason to withhold spending. The declaration led to Operation Winter Freeze to help more than 10,000 Navajo residents regain running water. The operation is estimated to cost about $2.8 million, which doesn’t include needed infrastructure upgrades.
“It is understood there are needs that may require supplemental budget before certain direction of the federal budget is realized. I would request the Navajo Nation Council to continue to assist the President’s Office in scrutinizing supplemental requests until the Nation can prioritize its 2013 unmet needs,” President Shelly wrote.