skip to main content

S. 2564 (114th): Dine College Act of 2016


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 23, 2016 (Introduced).


II

114th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2564

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 23, 2016

(for himself, Mr. McCain, Mr. Udall, and Mr. Heinrich) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs

A BILL

To modernize prior legislation relating to Diné College.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Diné College Act of 2016.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

the Treaty between the United States of America and the Navajo Tribe of Indians, done at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, June 1, 1868 (15 Stat. 667), provides for the education of the citizens of the Navajo Nation;

(2)

the Navajo Nation created and chartered the Navajo Community College by Resolution CN– 95–68 as a wholly owned educational entity of the Navajo Nation;

(3)

in 1971, Congress enacted the Navajo Community College Act (25 U.S.C. 640a et seq.);

(4)

the Navajo Nation officially changed the name of the Navajo Community College to Diné College by Resolution CAP–35–97; and

(5)

the purpose of Diné College is to provide educational opportunities to the Navajo people and others in areas important to the economic and social development of the Navajo Nation.

3.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the Navajo Nation and Navajo people—

(1)

exercise their right to self-determination, particularly in matters relating to the internal and local affairs of the Navajo Nation;

(2)

maintain and strengthen distinct institutions of higher education through the teaching of the Navajo language, culture, traditions, and history; and

(3)

improve the economic and social conditions of the Navajo Nation and Navajo people through higher education and postsecondary vocational training.

4.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Appropriate committees of Congress

The term appropriate committees of Congress means—

(A)

the Committee on Indian Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(2)

College

The term College means Diné College.

(3)

Infrastructure

(A)

In general

The term infrastructure means the buildings, water and sewer facilities, roads, and information technology and telecommunications infrastructure of the College.

(B)

Inclusions

The term infrastructure includes classrooms and external matters such as walkways.

(4)

Operation and maintenance

The term operation and maintenance means—

(A)

costs and expenses associated with the customary daily operation of the College; and

(B)

necessary maintenance costs of the College.

(5)

Renovation and repair

The term renovation and repair means modernization and improvement to the infrastructure.

(6)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

5.

Survey, study, and report

(a)

In general

(1)

Survey, study, and report

Not later than January 31, 2017, in accordance with subsection (b), the Secretary shall conduct, and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of, a detailed survey and study of all capital projects and facility needs of the College.

(2)

Inclusions in report

The report described in paragraph (1) shall include—

(A)

recommendations by the Secretary; and

(B)

any recommendations or views submitted by the College or the Navajo Nation regarding the capital projects and facility needs of the College.

(b)

Inventory

(1)

In general

Not later than August 1, 2016, the College shall prepare and submit to the Secretary an inventory that identifies the renovations and repairs necessary to meet—

(A)

health and safety standards; and

(B)

any other requirements the College determines necessary.

(2)

Use of inventory

The Secretary shall use the inventory described in paragraph (1) as baseline data to inform the survey, study, and report under subsection (a).

(c)

Administrative expenses

The Secretary may use to carry out this section amounts made available to the Secretary in general administrative appropriations.

6.

Grants authorized

(a)

Construction grants

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall make grants to the College for construction activities, including the renovation and repair or construction of buildings, water and sewer facilities, roads, information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, classrooms, and external structures (such as walkways) identified in the survey, study, and report under section 5.

(2)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out paragraph (1) $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2020, to remain available until expended unless otherwise provided in an appropriations Act.

(b)

Operation and maintenance grants

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall make grants to the College for operation and maintenance activities, including—

(A)

basic, special, developmental, vocational, technical, and special handicapped education costs;

(B)

annual capital expenditures, including equipment needs, minor capital improvements and remodeling projects, physical plant maintenance and operation costs, and an exceptions and supplemental needs account;

(C)

summer and special interest programs;

(D)

major capital improvements, including internal capital outlay funds and capital improvement projects;

(E)

mandatory payments, including payments due on bonds, loans, notes, or lease purchases;

(F)

supplemental student services, including student housing, food service, and the provision of access to books and services; and

(G)

improving and expanding the College, including by providing for the Navajo people and others in the community of the College—

(i)

higher education programs;

(ii)

career and technical education;

(iii)

activities relating to the preservation and protection of the Navajo language, philosophy, and culture;

(iv)

employment and training opportunities;

(v)

economic development and community outreach; and

(vi)

a safe learning, working, and living environment.

(2)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out paragraph (1) such sums as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2017 through 2020, to remain available until expended unless otherwise provided in an appropriations Act.

7.

Status of funds

Amounts made available to the College under this Act may be treated as non-Federal, private funds of the College for purposes of any provision of Federal law that requires that non-Federal or private funds of the College be used in a project for a specific purpose.

8.

Effect on other laws

This Act supersedes—

(1)

the Navajo Community College Act (25 U.S.C. 640a et seq.);

(2)

the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 640a note; Public Law 95–471); and

(3)

the Navajo Nation Higher Education Act of 2008 (25 U.S.C. 640a note; Public Law 110–315).

9.

Continuing eligibility for other Federal funds

Except as explicitly provided in other Federal law, nothing in this Act precludes the eligibility of the College to receive Federal funding and resources under any program authorized under—

(1)

the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.);

(2)

the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note; Public Law 103–382); or

(3)

any other applicable program for the benefit of institutions of higher education, community colleges, or postsecondary educational institutions.