SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
Shannon D. Pinto
A JOINT MEMORIAL
REQUESTING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO FORWARD FUND THE BUREAU OF INDIAN EDUCATION HIGHER EDUCATION GRANT PROGRAM.
WHEREAS, the bureau of Indian affairs operates the higher education grant program as authorized by the Snyder Act and provides higher education scholarships; and
WHEREAS, numerous Indian tribes administer the higher education grant program through Public Law 93-638 self-determination contracts or through Public Law 100-472 self-governance compacts; and
WHEREAS, the federal government routinely operates under continuing resolutions, which results in delayed funding to the bureau of Indian affairs; consequently, payment of college scholarships and institutional disbursements are delayed; and
WHEREAS, this is problematic for Indian college students who depend on these scholarship payments to pay for tuition, books and room and board; all too often, Indian students arrive on campus with little or no money; and
WHEREAS, there is precedent for forward funding of federal Indian education programs in that bureau of Indian education kindergarten through twelfth grade schools and tribally controlled colleges and universities have been forward funded; and
WHEREAS, forward funding is a budget authority that is made available for obligation in the last quarter of the fiscal year for the financing of ongoing activities during the next fiscal year; and
WHEREAS, forward funding achieves two outcomes: it provides funding for two years in advance and makes funds available on July 1 of each year, and it shields the grant program from government shutdowns, which allows tribes to disburse grant funds ahead of the academic year;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the New Mexico legislature request the United States congress to take affirmative steps to forward fund the higher education grant program of the bureau of Indian education; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the speaker of the United States house of representatives, the New Mexico congressional delegation, the Navajo Nation office of the president and vice president, the Navajo Nation council, the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the all Pueblo council of governors.
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