Liz Gray/Managing Editor
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Extraordinary Session was held December 27 via teleconference.
During the session, the Council addressed two pieces of legislation.
NCA 21-166 Approving the Comprehensive Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 and providing for appropriations. Representative Mark Randolph sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 13-1-1 with Rep. Travis Scott voting no and Rep. Randolph abstaining.
During discussion, Representative Lucian Tiger raised concerns over five positions’ salaries in the Department of Health, one position in Employment, Education and Training and one position in Community and Human Services that were not approved by the Health, Education and Welfare committee that were presented in the CAB by Principal Chief David Hill.
Tiger made a motion to amend the legislation changing the amounts for Education, Employment and Training from $34,695,890 to $34,558,290, Community and Human Services from $60,009,554 to $59,854,754 and Department of Health from $254,573,280 to 254,124,532. The amendment passed 13-1-1 with Rep. Travis Scott voting no and Mark Randolph abstained.
NCA 21-167 Approving a continuing budget ordinance and providing for appropriations and authorization for expenditures for FY 2022. Randolph sponsored the legislation, which was postponed indefinitely 14-1 with Scott voting no.
Prior to addressing the legislation, Hill stated he would be vetoing NCA 21-166 and without having to stop operation of the Nation would like for NCA 21-167 be passed.
Tiger expressed disappointment in Chief Hill’s statement stating, “That is very disappointing to hear that seven individuals prioritize over 2,000 employees at the Nation.”
Hill has since signed NCA 21-166 and released the following statement:
“The Office of the Principal Chief was pleased to present to the National Council a balanced comprehensive annual budget of over $542 million for this fiscal year.
I am disappointed that the National Council voted to amend the proposed budget over my objections and without negotiating with the Executive Branch as required by the Constitution and MCN Supreme Court rulings. Despite that, the Executive Branch will make the necessary adjustments to ensure that no jobs will be lost. Although I object to the National Council’s amendments to the proposed budget, I signed the legislation on December 30, 2021, to ensure that the government continued uninterrupted. However, our work with this year’s budget is not over.
I look forward to working with the National Council in the upcoming session on funding raises for all employees, on resolving the remaining budget issues that should have been negotiated, and on developing a progressive legislative agenda to strengthen the Nation’s sovereignty over our Reservation lands.”
To view the full video of this meeting, visit: http://www.mcnnc.com/2021-council-sessions/.