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Akaka bill strengthens Tribal Law and Order Act


U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the term of Indian Law and Order Commission for an additional year.

Vice Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Senators Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Max Baucus (D-Montana), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) are cosponsors of the bill, S. 2090.

The role of the Commission is to assess how the Tribal Law and Order Act is being implemented and to recommend additional ways to strengthen justice and public safety for people living and working on and near Native American communities and lands throughout the United States.

“Vice Chairman Barrasso and I stand united in offering this bill to extend the Indian Law and Order Commission. We know that Indian policy often transcends party lines and that when we work together our efforts are stronger because of it,” Akaka said. “Today, we join hands again to further strengthen the Tribal Law and Order Act.”

“The Commission has energetically engaged in its important work, but we have much more to do,” said Troy A. Eid, Chairman of the Indian Law and Order Commission. “The Tribal Law and Order Act is already improving the quality of justice in Indian Country and helping to save lives and property. Extending the Commission’s duration for another year, so that we can complete our work in the two years that the Act originally intended, would require no new funding or any Congressional appropriations.”

Although approved in 2010, the Commission was not funded until August 2011. As a result of this delay, the Commission has had only one year, instead of two, to complete its assessment on the Tribal Law and Order Act.

“An extension will allow the Commission time to meet its goals as envisioned by the Tribal Law and Order Act,” Akaka said.

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