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First Substitute H.J.R. 5

Representative Christine F. Watkins proposes the following substitute bill:


             1     
JOINT RESOLUTION SUPPORTING NEEDED

             2     
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE NAVAJO NATION'S ABILITY TO

             3     
COLLECT AND TRACK CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS

             4     
2009 GENERAL SESSION

             5     
STATE OF UTAH

             6     
Chief Sponsor: Christine F. Watkins

             7     
Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins

             8     
             9      LONG TITLE
             10      General Description:
             11          This joint resolution supports congressional action related to the Navajo Nation's ability
             12      to collect and track child support payments.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This resolution:
             15          .    provides background on the Navajo Nation, its needs, and its ability to collect and
             16      track child support;
             17          .    encourages Utah's congressional delegation to take action in specific areas; and
             18          .    provides for distribution.
             19      Special Clauses:
             20          None
             21     
             22      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             23          WHEREAS, the Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribe within the
             24      boundaries of the United States and is larger than ten of the 50 states;
             25          WHEREAS, Navajo children under the age of 18 comprise almost half the total


             26      population, and some 61% of Navajo grandparents are responsible for grandchildren under the
             27      age of 18;
             28          WHEREAS, over half the population of the Navajo Nation lives below the poverty
             29      level, and over 40% of persons on the Navajo Nation are unemployed;
             30          WHEREAS, collecting child support for children whose parents are able to pay child
             31      support may be critical in the health and education of a good portion of Navajo children;
             32          WHEREAS, the federal government granted the Navajo Nation and 39 other tribes the
             33      ability to collect child support, establish paternity, and enforce child and medical support
             34      obligations, but did not grant the Navajo Nation access to information essential for
             35      investigation and enforcement;
             36          WHEREAS, the federal government has suggested that some states charge the Navajo
             37      Nation for access to important personal files of potential payers of child support;
             38          WHEREAS, the Navajo Nation has collected almost $3,000,000 in past-due child
             39      support and received more than 10,000 acknowledgments of paternity for Navajo children; and
             40          WHEREAS, the Navajo Nation department of child support enforcement has collected
             41      a total of $7,248,237 in child support during fiscal year 2007:
             42          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
             43      encourage Utah's congressional delegation to take appropriate steps on behalf of the Navajo
             44      Nation to increase its effectiveness in child support collection and enforcement.
             45          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Utah's congressional delegation is urged to
             46      encourage the federal government to include the Navajo Nation in a web access pilot program
             47      to obtain information critical to collection of child support for Navajo children.
             48          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be transmitted to:
             49          (1) the members of Utah's congressional delegation;
             50          (2) the president of the Navajo Nation;
             51          (3) the speaker of the house of the Navajo Nation; and
             52          (4) the secretary of human services for the Navajo Nation.


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