Tuesday, August 25, 2015

National Caucus of Native American State Legislators adopts Hale resolution urging Congress to help with the construction of veteran homes on tribal lands

National Caucus of Native American State Legislators adopts Hale resolution urging Congress to help with the construction of veteran homes on tribal lands


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Earlier this month the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators adopted a resolution sponsored by Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), urging Congress to allow construction reimbursement for veteran homes built in Native American Nations.

Hale is the Vice President of the National Caucus. He sponsored a similar concurrent resolution in the Arizona State Legislature. He intends to sponsor another concurrent resolution when the Legislature convenes in January 2016.

The resolution asks Congress to enact legislation that would allow construction reimbursement and per diem payments for veterans nursing care homes built on Native American Nation lands. Current law provides for a 65 percent construction reimbursement and per diem payments to veterans nursing care homes built on land owned by states, territories or land the U.S. possesses. Veteran homes built on Native American Nation lands are not eligible for the reimbursement and per diem payments.

Hale said that a change in the federal law would encourage the construction of veterans nursing care homes and make it possible to provide more services to veterans living on Native American Nation lands.

“While there are many veterans living in Native American Nations, there are no veterans nursing care homes.  This type of facility is eligible for both construction reimbursement and per diem if it is not on Native American Nation lands. Extending this law to include facilities that would serve the Native American veterans who wish to stay connected to their communities would do a lot of good,” Hale said.

The resolution was sent to the president and vice president of the United States, to members of Congress and to other federal and state government officials.

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Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.

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