Final Stimulus Numbers for Indian Country

Congress just released the conference report (final version of the bill) on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka “The Stimulus Bill”). I would warn against trying to view the document on the Speaker’s website, as it has been swamped all day. You can read it for yourself here.

The figures here are working from my previous post on the Senate version’s Indian Country Appropriations.

Items that were cut or reduced from the version that passed the Senate on Tuesday:

$422 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for “Construction” (Reduced from $522 million in the Senate version – The Conference report specifies that these funds are for repair & restoration of roads, replacement school construction, school repairs, and detention center maintenance and repairs).

$310 million for the Indian Reservation Roads Program (Reduced from $320 million in the Senate version – the Secretary of Interior may use up to 4% of these funds for program administration and oversight, and may redistribute unobligated funds within the program).

$225 million to the Office of Justice Programs – Assistance to Tribes for grants under Title II of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Reduced from $300 million in Senate – reduction eliminates funding for the Tribal Courts Initiative and tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction grants, which both received $25 million under the Senate version).

$85 million for Indian Health Service – for Health Information Technology (Reduced from $135 million in Senate version – eliminates provision of $50 million for Contract Health).

$40 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for “Operation of Indian Programs (This funding remains the same from the Senate version; however, the Conference Report eliminated the separate line item for the Indian Housing Program and rolled it into this line item. The Senate Bill provided $20 million for the BIA’s Indian Housing Program).

$8 million to Community Development Financial Institutions for financial assistance, technical assistance, training, and outreach programs that benefit tribal communities (Reduced from $20 million in Senate version).

Here are the funding items that were untouched from the final Senate version to the Conference Report:

$510 million for the Native American Housing Block Grant ($255 million of this amount must be distributed according to the same funding formula used in FY 2008 (NOTE: Tribes must obligate 100% of funds within one year. 50% of funds must be spent within 2 years, and 100% of funds must be spent within 3 years. Failure to comply may result in Secretary of HUD recapturing unexpended balance.)

$400 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools facilities (with $200 million appropriated in each FY 2009 and FY 2010).

$60 million for Tribal Clean Water Grants (1.5% set-aside from the $4 Billion appropriated for State Revolving Funds under the Water Pollution Control Act)

$10 million for the Indian Loan Guarantee Program

$5 million for the Food Distribution Program on Indian reservations.

Finally, here are provisions that were increased or added to the final version from the Senate’s version:

$415 million for Indian Health Facilities (Increased from $410 million – $227 million is dedicated to complete to “priority list” projects that are already under construction)

$17.25 million for Tribal Transit from the Federal Transit Administration (The final bill appropriates $6.9 Billion to the FTA, 10% of which – $690 million – is allocated according to the FTA’s “rural formula.” The bill provides that 2.5% of the rural funds are dedicated to tribal transit)

$1 Billion for COPS grants to state, local, and tribal governments to hire additional law enforcement officers (the final bill does not specify how much funding is directed to tribal police departments)

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The final Stimulus Bill also retained the provisions for the expansion of tribal tax exempt bonds. I’m disappointed in some of the cuts, but am very pleased about the funding increase for health facility construction. I am also pleased with the decision to keep the tribal tax exempt bond provisions in the final draft.

If you decide to read the final bill for yourself, PLEASE post any corrections in the comment section and I will try to add them later. Also, there are many other non-appropriation provisions in the stimulus bill that affect Indian Country (like tax-exempt bonds and Medicaid eligibility). I will try to get those posted here at a later time.