Updated: September 29, 2020 10:14 PM
Created: September 29, 2020 02:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Navajo Nation received more than $700 million in federal CARES Act funding to fight the coronavirus.
A lot of the money was set aside for infrastructure projects to build water and power lines to homes, funding for personal protective equipment and small business relief.
The federal government says the Navajo Nation must spend all the money before the Dec. 30 deadline.
"Any projects that were approved by Council and approved by the president but have not met the deadline starting October first, Council, the Budget Finance Committee can recommend that it go into the hardship program," said Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Navajo Nation Delegate.
Crotty said the Navajo Nation Council passed legislation for the hardship program, which would send out relief checks to over 300,000 Navajo people.
Tribally-enrolled adults would receive $1,500 and tribally-enrolled children would receive $500.
"We know the pressing need is direct relief service," Kanazbah Crotty said. "We heard from our people every day talking about internet, the increase in utilities, to travel to get food, to get water, so that has placed a big burden on our people."
Kanazbah Crotty said Council approved $47 million for the hardship fund last week, and they're anticipating adding an additional $150 million.
"Our main goal is not to return any money to Washington," she said. "We know that we need it here on Navajo and our citizens need it."
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