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Cherokee Nation Approves $566 Million Operating Budget

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Chuck Hoskin Jr. confirmed as Secretary of State

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved a $566 million operating budget for fiscal year 2014 on August 29.

Chuck Hoskin Jr. was also confirmed by Tribal Council as the Cherokee Nation’s new secretary of state. He was sworn in and will begin his cabinet position immediately.

Hoskin Jr., of Vinita, will vacate his District 11 Tribal Council seat which expires in 2017. As secretary of state, Hoskin Jr. will serve as the liaison to federal, state and other tribal governments to protect the interests of the Cherokee Nation. A special election to fill District 11 is set for Oct. 12.

“Chuck has dutifully served the Cherokee people as a tribal councilor, Deputy Speaker and will continue to do so as Secretary of State. He has proven to be a leader who will work for the greater good, to put the people’s needs first and to preserve our Cherokee values,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Chuck is a man of the highest moral character and, like me, Chuck is committed to expanding opportunities for Cherokee citizens and ensuring that our tribal sovereign nation remains strong and continues to grow.”

Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan said Hoskin will be sorely missed by the Tribal Council, as an often calming voice among the 17-member body.

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“I always knew he was destined for greater things,” she said. “We hate to lose him, but we want him to have opportunities that will make us a better tribe.”

The 2014 fiscal year starts Oct. 1, with an increase over last year as a result of 2013 carryover funds.

Adult Education will use $51,000 as incentives to Cherokees who complete their Cherokee Nation GED course; $150,000 is earmarked to hold more community meetings in the 14-county jurisdiction; free year subscriptions to the Cherokee Phoenix will be given to those who obtain a new photo ID citizenship card through the new Citizens Access to Transparency program that will also receive $150,000.

The budget also includes more funds for community outreach projects.

The Tribal Council also approved a $92 million capital improvements budget, 83 percent of which is dedicated to improving roads within the 14-county tribal boundary and $4.6 million for completion of the new Jack Brown Center residential treatment for Native American youth battling alcohol and substance abuse.

“The Cherokee Nation continues to invest in programs that enhance the lives of our citizens and improve our communities,” Glory-Jordan said. “This legislative body worked together to review the finances of each department to ensure every dollar is spent for the betterment of our people.”

The Tribal Council also elected Janelle Fullbright as Deputy Speaker.