4/1/2014 10:09:00 AM More than $2.5 mil to go to Dine' College and Navajo Technical University annually through 2020
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer sign an agreement to provide state funding to Navajo institutions of higher education. Flanking them during the signing are Speaker Johnny Naize, delegate Dwight Witherspoon, Dr. Elmer Guy, Dr. Maggie George and former delegate Andy Ayze. Photo/Rick Abasta
PHOENIX - Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) revenues collected on the Navajo Nation will be used to provide as much as $1.75 million annually for Dine' College and $875,000 annually for Navajo Technical University (NTU) through 2020.
In support of this, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly met with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on March 26 to sign a funding agreement between the Navajo Nation, the state of Arizona, Dine' College and Navajo Technical University.
A funding agreement between the Nation and Arizona has been in place since 1999, but recent amendments to the legislation allowed for money to also be provided for Navajo Technical University.
While signing the agreement into law next to Shelly, Brewer said, "It is an honor today to be able to participate with you."
Shelly responded, "Well, it's an honor to be with you today. I was supposed to be with N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez, but I chose to be here with you today."
Flanked by Speaker of the 22nd Navajo Nation Council Johnny Naize, delegate Dwight Witherspoon, Dr. Maggie George, Dr. Elmer Guy and former delegate Andy Ayze, Shelly and Brewer signed the agreement into law.
After the agreement was signed, Shelly joined the group for photos and expressed appreciation for the funding.
"The Navajo Nation is thankful for the support we have received from Governor Brewer and the state of Arizona," Shelly said. "This legislation gives our Navajo students a healthy learning environment and the necessary infrastructure at our tribal institutions of learning. Chief Manuelito instructed the Navajo people to climb the ladder of education. We are still climbing."
Brewer presented the "$7 million pen" to Shelly after the signing was complete. He gave the pen to Guy as commemoration of the historic event for NTU.
On Feb. 7, 2014, Witherspoon (Black Mesa, Forest Lake, Hard Rock, Pinon, Whippoorwill) sponsored Resolution No. 0038-14 and introduced it to the 22nd Navajo Nation Council as an action relating to Health Education and Human Services and the Budget and Finance Committees.
The funding compact with the state has been in place since Oct. 19, 1999 and was originally only for Dine' College. TPT money collected on the Nation was provided to the college to support maintenance, renewal and capital expenses.