WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed and approved legislation that opposes two Congressional bills.
President Shelly signed CJY -39-12 on July 24 and said he wrote that he signed the bill because the language of the bills could be amended.
"The Navajo Nation Council and the Office of the President and Vice President have stood in agreement about various concerns regarding U.S. congressional legislation Senate Bill 2109 and House Resolution 4067. Through conversations with Sen. Jon Kyl there appears to be a willingness to discuss with the Navajo Nation leadership potential changes to the legislative language," President Shelly wrote in a memo to Speaker Johnny Naize.
The bill outlines reasons why the Navajo Nation opposes the bills. Some of the reasons were the inclusion of Navajo Generating Station, that Navajo has rights to un-quantified amount of water on the Little Colorado River (LCR) and the Colorado River, and ambiguous language in the bill, among other reasons.
President Shelly said he still supports a Little Colorado River settlement and understands the legislation speaks only to the Congressional bills.
"As you are aware, if there is no water settlement there is no need for Senate Bill 2109 or its companion legislation," President Shelly wrote.
"My concern is by the Navajo Nation Council's action voting down the LCR Water Settlement Legislation 0230-12 without amending the Water Settlement for counter consideration; the perception is that the Navajo Nation does not want a water settlement. It is imperative the Navajo Nation Council and the Office of the President and Vice President discuss and speak with one voice what the Navajo Nation position is on acquiring a water settlement," President Shelly wrote.