HJR 5, titled “Joint Resolution Supporting Needed Improvements in the Navajo Nation’s ability to collect and track Child Support Payments” was passed during the recent general session of the Utah legislature. Chief sponsor of the resolution is Christine Watkins of District 69, which includes San Juan County.
The Navajo Nation Child Support Enforcement Program was established in 1993 and has been working to gain the support of Utah to enhance Federal Regulations within the Tribal Child Support Enforcement Programs.
Navajo Nation Child Support met on January 19 with Watkins. She became the chief sponsor of the legislation.
The passage of HJR 5 is a monumental endeavor. A plaque was presented to Christine Watkins and Jack R. Draxler for their roles in passing the Resolution in behalf of the Navajo Nation Child Support Enforcement Program.
The relationship between the State of Utah and the Utah Navajos has greatly been enhanced.
The Navajo Nation will work to obtain support from the Arizona legislature before moving towards key members of the United States Congress.
Changes in the Final Rule for Tribal Child Support Enforcement Programs, 45 CFR 309, will allow States to reduce or eliminate “charges” the Navajo Nation pays to access the automated state child support system, allow tribes to have direct access to state locate tools, reduce the amount of tribal match required to a 10 percent match with 90 percent Federal matching.
The child support program has offices in Ship-rock, NM, Gallup NM, Tuba City, AZ, Kayenta, AZ, Crownpoint, NM, Window Rock, AZ and Chinle, AZ. The central office is in St. Micheals, AZ.