Indian Affairs Passes Five New Bills, Holds Legislative Hearing on Public Safety

Indian Affairs legislative hearing 5.1.24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Committee, led Committee passage of the following bills at a business meeting:

  • S.616, the Leech Lake Reservation Restoration Technical Corrections Act of 2023
  • S.2796, a bill to provide for the equitable settlement of certain land disputes regarding land in Illinois, and for other purposes
  • S.2868, a bill to accept the request to revoke the charter of incorporation of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota at the request of that Community, and for other purposes
  • S.3022, IHS Workforce Parity Act of 2023
  • H.R.1240, Winnebago Land Transfer Act of 2023

Following the business meeting, the Committee held a legislative hearing on S.465, the Bridging Agency Data Gaps and Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act, and S.2695, the Parity for Law Enforcement Act. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland from the Department of the Interior, President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Mark Macarro, and Tulalip Chief of Police Chris Sutter, on behalf of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), testified.

“Each bill addresses key areas of need: addressing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) crisis and improving tribal law enforcement officer recruitment and retention in Indian Country,” said Chairman Schatz. “We heard just how critical these needs are out our public safety listening session last month. Over 600 people listened in, and commenters overwhelmingly listed MMIP and law enforcement officer recruitment and retention challenges as among their top priorities.”