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New state budget includes infrastructure money for tribal communities

Arizona’s recently approved multi-billion dollar bipartisan state budget contains infrastructure and social welfare investments for the Navajo Nation and other tribal communities.

The Legislative District 7 team, which represents parts of Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties among others, voted to add more than $500 million in permanent base-level k-12 school funding, plus funds for special education and affordable housing.

The Navajo Times reports some of the infrastructure funds will go towards a veterans complex at Lukachukai, tribal ceremonies for Native military veterans, road work on the Navajo Nation, a judicial complex in Kayenta and at least $2 million dollars to the attorney genera’s office for Missing and Murdered Indigenous people.

Infrastructure funds will also be used towards a community center in Dilkon and a Diné College Student Center in Tuba City.

District 7 representatives say some of the projects have been years in the making and are the result of advocacy by chapter and community leaders, previous state representatives and senators.