S-1197.1  _______________________________________________





State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Judiciary (originally sponsored by Senators T. Sheldon, Swecker, Kline, Regala, Prentice and Costa)



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 Senate of the state of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That a joint legislative task force 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 task force 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 task force may hold hearings and seek out the expertise of state and tribal agencies to understand and make recommendations on issues the task force may agree to address; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force shall consist of eight state legislators.  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 Cospeakers of the House of Representatives; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That an invitation by the legislative task force shall be sent to all federally recognized tribes to participate in the study and address the task force regarding each tribe's respective ideas on developing effective legislative/tribal relationships; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force and participating tribes shall present their reports and recommendations to the legislature not later than December 1, 2001; and

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


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