Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Legislature passes 2-year extension of trust fund programs

The Utah State Legislature has passed Senate Bill 237, which provides for the continuation of college level financial aid to Utah Navajo students and the continued use of funds for pre-approved housing and other projects until 2012. Governor Gary R. Herbert signed this legislation into law on March 25, 2010. “We were happy to work on this bill. It was the right thing to do and now the Utah Navajos can continue their education and complete badly needed housing projects for another two years,” said David Hinkins Orangeville, sponsor of the bill.

“As a former education administrator, it’s satisfying to see our efforts resulting in meeting some of the educational needs of our Navajo constituents” said Christine Watkins (D) Price, who managed the bill in the House of Representatives. The State of Utah-Navajo Trust Fund (UNTF) administered these programs until 2008, when the UNTF was dissolved. A transition organization – the Navajo Royalties Holding Fund (UNRHF) – was established to administer the fund until a new trustee is designated by the U.S. Congress. The UNRHF was scheduled to wind down college financial aid to new college students by June, 2010, but now the UNRHF will continue to serve Utah Navajo students for the next two years or until a new trustee takes over, whichever comes first. San Juan Record