On February 1, the New Mexico Joint Legislative Session heard remarks from Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly where he expressed the need for unity while outlining different bills he supports.
“We must find new ways to partner and address issues that are important to our constituents. We must grow our economies, create jobs, and build infrastructure, while maintaining basic services. Let’s all work together and do our best to serve the people that put us here. We owe it to them,” Shelly said during his speech.
Shelly was one of a handful of tribal leaders who spoke during the session where he shared his outline of some bills:
— Senate Bill 76 would appropriate $1.44 million to New Mexico State University to grow fresh produce to be purchased by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for distribution throughout the state for school lunches.
— House Bill 28, which would allow students at tribal colleges to qualify for New Mexico’s Lottery Scholarship – something that currently does not happen.
— Support for a portion capital outlay funding that would provide funding to build homes for veterans.
— Changing House Bill 306, which would’ve made it more difficult to cross commission Navajo police officers with New Mexico law enforcement agencies.