Proposed bill would make it clear: Tribes are eligible for Business Council money

Eastern Shoshone
Eastern Shoshone

Jola LeBeau, left, and Verle Phillips, right, walk past a painting of the Eastern Shoshone tribal flag at Rocky Mountain Hall in Fort Washakie. A draft legislative bill would make it clear that the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho are eligible for Wyoming Business Council funding. A bill draft proposed by the Select Committee on Tribal Relations aims to make it clear: the state’s tribes are eligible for Wyoming Business Council funding.

In an August committee meeting, WBC staff said that an interpretation of current state statute by the Wyoming Attorney General’s office found that there was no clearly defined way for tribes to participate in the council’s Business Ready Community program.

The statute currently lists towns, cities, counties, joint powers boards and, in some cases, other local government entities as eligible for that money.

The committee, meeting on Friday for the final time this session, voted to advance a bill draft that adds explicit references to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, the Wind River Indian Reservation and any “cooperative tribal governing body” with representation from both tribes.

The draft now includes the tribes and the Wind River Inter-Tribal Council in the list of entities eligible for WBC funding for things including workforce housing infrastructure, community facilities and other public infrastructure covered by the council’s Business Ready Communities program.

Although it may not have been listed explicitly in the law, WBC maintains that tribes can already apply for that funding.

At the committee’s last meeting, WBC Investment Division Director Julie Kozlowski said the […]

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