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Navajo Nation finalizes long-debated spending plan for $1 billion in federal funds

After nearly a year of debate, the Navajo Nation recently agreed on a plan to distribute more than $1 billion of its remaining American Rescue Plan funding.

The plan passed 20-2, less than an hour into a special session called specifically to deal with the funding.

The Nation will use the funds to bring electricity to more homes, install water and wastewater projects and improve internet broadband connections, among other things.

Earlier this year, Nation delegates were split on whether the money should go towards improving the Nation as a whole, or if it should be distributed among the 24 delegate regions.

As part of the agreement made last week, more than $200 million will be split between the regions, for uses as determined by each delegate.

Nation President Jonathan Nez called the agreement a “monumental moment for the Navajo people.”

The legislation will allocate the following priorities:

  • $241.9 million for housing construction, veteran housing, and electric connections
  • $225 million for water lines and wastewater projects
  • $211.2 million for chapter and regional projects
  • $150 million for bathroom additions
  • $120 million for the new hardship assistance applications
  • $109.8 million for internet broadband connections
  • $40 million for public safety, rural addressing, and cyber security upgrades
  • $19.2 million for transitional housing and detox centers
Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.