B&F approves 2013 proposed $170.8 million budget
By Marley Shebala
WINDOW ROCK, Aug. 31, 2012
The proposed comprehensive budget of $170.8 million includes all the proposed budgets of all the programs and divisions in the tribal government’s three branches. Under tribal law, which was recently approved by the current Council, the proposed 2013 budget must be immediately posted on the Council's website for public comment for five days.
After five days, the Budget and Finance Committee will officially approve its 2013 comprehensive budget and recommend it to the Council, which has the authority to amend it, approve it as is, not approve it, or table it and return it to the committee for further changes. But before going to the Council, it goes before the Council’s Naa’bik’iyati’ Committee for review, possible amendments, approval, disapproval or tabling. B&F Committee Chairperson LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad/Newcomb/San Juan/T’iistoh Sikaad/Tse’Daa’Kaan/Upper Fruitland) noted that whatever action the Naa’bik’iyati' Committee takes on the budget, the budget continues to move to the Council.
Bates explained that tribal law mandates the Council to have an annual operating budget in place 20 days before the end of the current budget year, which is Sept. 30. He said that if the Council tables the 2013 budget, it must set a deadline that meets the 20-day deadline. And Bates said that must include the 10 days mandated to the president for his action after the Council approves the budget.
Presidential actions include line-item budget veto, veto, signing off on the budget or allowing the 10 days to expire without taking action, which is equivalent to a presidential signature on the budget.
The Council cannot override presidential line-item budget veto power.
But it can override a presidential veto.
Bates said that if the Council does not approve the proposed 2013 budget, tribal law calls for the Council to approve legislation to continue the current 2012 budget.
Also on Thursday, the B&F committee approved legislation that would continue the 2012 budget for six months. The committee’s proposed comprehensive 2013 budget for the Council resulted after several weeks of deliberations with President Ben Shelly, Chief Justice Herb Yazzie, Speaker Johnny Naize, the Office of the Controller, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice and the Council’s standing committees.
The five-day comment session on the B&F committee’s proposed 2013 budget ends on Sept. 3. The B&F committee is scheduled to meet on its proposed budget for the Council on Sept. 4. The Naa’bik’iyati' Committee is schedule to meet on it on Sept. 6. And the Council is scheduled to begin their 2013 budget session on Sept. 10.