The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved a $731.3 million comprehensive budget for fiscal year 2015 during a special meeting Thursday. The new fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, will include a $73 million increase from the initial $658.2 million comprehensive budget passed last August. "This body worked diligently to ensure the Cherokee peoples' needs would be met through the 2015 budget, and I firmly believe we have constructed a budget that will do just that, " said Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan. "Through increased motor vehicle tax revenues related to the car tag expansion, new grants, contract health care and other sources of funding, the Cherokee Nation is able to increase funds for more services that will benefit thousands of Cherokees."
Cherokee Nation's Education Services will see a $2.5 million increase in college scholarships for Cherokee students. Other programs receiving an increase in funds include $890,000 more to help with special projects and contributions to communities, $800,000 more for the day training program, $275,000 increase to the summer youth employment program and $150,000 more for vocational assistance. The fiscal year 2015 budget also includes $200,000 for a new adult language program that will help adults gain proficiency in the Cherokee language and a new $150,000 emergency assistance program that will help citizens in need.
The comprehensive budget included a $650,000 budget increase for the Citizens Access to Transparency budget for a total of $800,000 in fiscal year 2015. That increase provides free one-year Cherokee Phoenix subscriptions to Cherokee Nation households with current addresses both in jurisdiction and at large.
The next Tribal Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Sept.15 at the W.W. Keeler Complex in Tahlequah. Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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