For Immediate Release - October 8, 2015
Contact: Hope Stockwell, Research Analyst, 444-9280
The State-Tribal Relations Committee (STRC) meets October 21 and 22 in Helena to take up the first two pieces of its interim work plan -- state-tribal tax agreements and state implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The meeting will be held in Room 137 of the Capitol.
To avoid double taxation and legal controversy over the taxation of the sale of gas, tobacco, and alcohol on reservations, the state has entered into agreements with several tribes to collect the taxes and then remit a portion to the tribes based on their enrollment populations. Representatives of the tribes, the governor's office, and the Departments of Transportation and Revenue will discuss the history and current status of these agreements with the STRC beginning at 9 a.m. on October 21. Agreements related to the taxation of natural resources will also be discussed.
At 1 p.m. on October 21, the STRC will learn about ICWA and the state's implementation of it. Congress passed ICWA in 1978 to address concerns related to the break-up of Indian families due to the high rate of placement of Indian children in non-Indian foster care and adoptive homes. Representatives from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the state Department of Public Health and Human Services and an ICWA attorney from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are among the expected speakers.
The STRC will also learn about the Native American Collateral Support Program, reservation labor statistics, Indian youth suicide prevention, Indian language immersion program funding implementation, and Montana BIE tribal grant schools and supplemental funding equity.
Senate members of the STRC are Chairman Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder; Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena; Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls; and Kristin Hansen, R-Havre.
House members are Vice-Chairman Alan Doane, R-Bloomfield; Edward Greef, R-Florence; George Kipp, III, D-Heart Butte; and Zac Perry, D-Hungry Horse.
A full agenda and meeting materials are available on the committee’s website at http://leg.mt.gov/tribal. The meeting streams live at http://leg.mt.gov and will broadcast on Television Montana (TVMT.) For questions or to submit written comment, contact STRC staffer Hope Stockwell at 406-444-9280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.