Navajo Lawmakers Pass Massive Virus Relief Spending Bill

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) – Lawmakers on the Navajo Nation have approved a massive spending bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic that includes money for water projects, power lines, broadband and casino employees who have been laid off.

The Navajo Nation Council passed the nearly $651 million in spending late Friday after discussing it for more than 28 hours in a special session over three days. The money comes from the Navajo Nation’s share of $8 billion federal coronavirus relief funding that was set aside for tribes.

“This was a collective effort that brought to the service all the underlying, systemic challenges like lack of running water and access to electricity that are common throughout the Navajo Nation,” council Speaker Seth Damon said Saturday. “This legislation begins to directly address those obstacles we face, as Navajo people, in protecting the health of our own homes and communities.”

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