H-1360.1  _______________________________________________





State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Representatives Romero, Morris, Edwards, Ogden and O'Brien


Read first time 02/06/2001.  Referred to Committee on State Government.

Promoting state and tribal relations.

    WHEREAS, The members of the Washington state legislature recognize there are twenty-nine federally recognized Indian tribes located within the boundaries of Washington state with a combined population of approximately ninety-one thousand members occupying over three and a quarter million acres of land; and

    WHEREAS, Those twenty-nine tribes are operating governments with responsibilities to their citizens and their lands like those of the state to its territory and citizens; and

    WHEREAS, The relationship on an intergovernmental basis between the Washington state legislature and these Indian tribes has seen only a very limited level of development; and

    WHEREAS, Because of these limitations, there is a need to inform and educate members of the legislature and their staff on the status and operations of tribal governments and to educate and inform tribal elected officials and their staff on the operations of the legislature;

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the House of Representatives of the state of Washington, the Senate concurring, That a joint select committee on legislative/tribal relations be established to review, study, and recommend how the legislature and tribes may develop more effective relationships and arrange for intergovernmental mechanisms in order to be able to work together on common interests and problems, such as court jurisdiction, human services, gaming, tax and revenue, historic preservation, and environmental issues; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the efforts of the committee shall include a study of how other state legislatures and tribal governments handle their intergovernmental relationships and recommend methods of addressing issues that are significant in the area of state/tribal relations and that the committee may hold hearings and seek out the expertise of state and tribal agencies to understand and make recommendations on issues the committee may agree to address; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall consist of fourteen members, to be comprised of eight state legislators and six tribal elected officials.  Four members shall be from the Senate, two from each caucus, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; four members from the House of Representatives, two from each caucus, to be appointed by the Co-Speakers of the House of Representatives; and six elected officials from among the twenty-nine federally recognized tribes, who shall be selected at a meeting of the federally recognized tribes convened by the Association of Washington Tribes within sixty days following enactment of this resolution.  Tribal participants in the meeting shall be elected officials of their respective tribes.  The names of those selected to be members shall immediately be transmitted by the Association of Washington Tribes to the legislature.  An ad hoc member may be designated by the Governor to be a representative of the Governor and the executive branch; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall be cochaired by a legislative member and a tribal member.  The members of the legislature appointed to the committee shall select their cochair and the tribal members of the committee shall select their cochair, the expenses of the committee shall be paid by the legislature under chapter 44.04 RCW, staff support for the committee shall be provided by the senate committee services and house of representatives office of program research and the Northwest Indian applied research institute located at The Evergreen State College, and the committee may also call upon any of the state agencies and tribal governments to assist in research and provide information; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall present its report and recommendations to the legislature not later than December 1, 2001; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall terminate on December 15, 2001.


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