05-29-2020  3:44 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Agencies Investigate COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Townsend Farms Sites

OHA today named the business responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple locations

Oregon's Top Courts Begin Reversing Nonunanimous Convictions

These are the first of hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of cases that are being scrutinized

Washington Issues New Guidelines for Religious Services

Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that churches, mosques and synagogues can resume in-person services, with those in counties in the second stage of the reopening plan. King County, which includes Seattle, is among the 15 counties still in Phase 1.

Multnomah County Weighs Impact to Communities of Color in Decision to Re-Open

Multnomah County will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

Washington is one of the 6 states with the highest self-response rates and both Seattle and Portland are one of the top 8 cities with...

Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

New virus rules for farms, nursing homes in Washington state

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Employers must provide agricultural workers with face masks, more hand-washing stations and more frequently disinfect work surfaces under new coronavirus rules established Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.Also Thursday, Secretary of Health John Wiesman signed an...

1 dead in helicopter crash near Roseburg

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A person was killed in a helicopter crash near Roseburg. The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. Thursday on private property south of the Green district of Roseburg, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. Local fire, EMS and police agencies responded and are...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

Covid-19 Financial Warning: Consumers and Banks Should Stay Away From Payday Loans

When living costs exceed available financial resources, tough times lead to tough decisions ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trump calls Floyd death 'shocking,' calls protesters 'thugs'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and said that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — drawing another warning from Twitter for his rhetoric. Trump tweeted after protesters outraged by the death...

Columbus protest over George Floyd's death turns violent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, with windows smashed at the Ohio Statehouse and storefronts along surrounding downtown streets.The crowd of...

George Floyd protesters set Minneapolis police station afire

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who...

ENTERTAINMENT

Winfrey, Pitt part of Grammys special for essential workers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammys is putting together an event featuring Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick, Jr. to honor essential workers across America.The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards annually, announced Thursday that the two-hour special,...

In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert

NEW YORK (AP) — When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience.So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in...

Fox's Sean Hannity emerges as critic of Minneapolis police

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity has emerged as an unexpected critic of the Minneapolis police for their actions in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.Hannity spent more than 15 minutes on his Fox show Wednesday replaying video of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Punching through turmoil: Pro boxer helps medical staff cope

PARIS (AP) — Hassan N’Dam, former middleweight boxing champion of the world, wanted to repay the...

Communion ritual unchanged in Orthodox Church despite virus

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — One by one, the children and adults line up for the centuries-old ritual of Holy...

Masks on Leatherneck Square: Virus changes Marine training

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — The booming shouts of the rain-soaked Marine recruits echo across Leatherneck...

Australian court rules queen's letters can be made public

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between...

No Eiffel, Mona Lisa or Versailles: Iconic sites stay closed

LE PECQ, France (AP) — Hold that smile, Mona Lisa. The Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles will...

AP Explains: What's behind latest India-China border tension

NEW DELHI (AP) — Tensions along the China-India border high in the Himalayas have flared again in recent...

McMenamins
Rob Capriccioso Indian Country

White HouseIn June 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter that the federal government must pay for the full contract support costs (CSC) incurred by tribes while providing healthcare and other governmental services for their tribal citizens through Indian Self-Determination Act contract agreements.

In opposition to that ruling, the White House shared with Congress late this summer a continuing resolution budget proposal that would allow the federal government to forgo paying millions of dollars worth of CSC to tribes.

The proposal authorizes the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to limit how much each tribe would be paid for CSC. Tribes would be left to pay for any CSC funding not appropriated by Congress.

Tribal leaders who have reviewed the plan say it amounts to a tribe-by-tribe federal cap on CSC funding that would wipe out tribal legal claims and put tribes in the difficult position of being required to spend money to administer contract support programs without providing them the funding to do so.

Forty-five tribes and tribal organizations sent a letter September 3 to congressional members of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, asking them to eliminate the administration's request from their pending appropriations bill.

"If this language is enacted, once again Indian tribes would be the only government contractors in the Nation whom the United States could cheat with impunity," the tribal leaders wrote. "Worse yet, the Administration developed this plan in secret, without any consultation with the tribes and without any consultation with the authorizing committees."

Tribal leaders have also argued that the administration's plan may be unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment, as well as illegal under the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution, because the proposed policy changes tell the tribes they must do their contracted work and must accept less-than-full payment.

President Barack Obama's 2014 budget request falls copy40 million short of what is required to honor all tribal contracts with the IHS, and copy2 million short of what is required to honor all BIA contracts, according to testimony provided to Congress in April.

Congress, which is scheduled to be in session for only nine days in September, must pass a continuing resolution by October 1 to avoid a partial government shutdown, so time is short for a tribal leaders' case against the plan to make waves.

After Obama released a similar proposal in April, tribal leaders and some members of Congress balked, and administration leaders promised to conduct consultation with tribes on the matter—promises that have not been kept, according to tribal affairs experts

"It is absolutely awful and shockingly disappointing to tribal advocates," said Philip Baker-Shenk, an Indian affairs lawyer with Holland & Knight, of the new plan. "While unfunded mandates like this are banned for everybody else, apparently Office of Management and Budget officials believe Indian tribes are the exception to that rule. Because the Obama CSC cap would upend existing law, it does not belong on a [continuing resolution] that, by definition, extends current law into the future. It should be abandoned and rejected as yet another bad idea thrown at Indian country."

Lloyd Miller, an Indian affairs lawyer with Sonosky Chambers involved in several tribal contract support disputes with the federal government, places blame squarely on Yvette Roubideaux, director of the IHS, for failing to make a forceful case that these costs must be paid. He says Roubideaux has acted as if these contracts were just another program to be balanced against other programs or activities her agency felt were more important, including internal spending.

"I certainly put this at the feet of the director," Miller said. "She has complete control over this issue. She is a free agent here; she has control over how she manages her budget, and she consistently chooses other so-called priorities.

"Dr. Roubideaux has to pay her bills, and she doesn't like that," Miller added. "So she is seeking ways to avoid paying her bills, and this effort is impairing the ability of tribes to hire health service providers. When she underpays those costs, she forces tribes to take money away from the other areas she has prioritized."

Roubideaux' office has not responded to requests for comment.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, told Indian Country Today Media Network that she is "disappointed" by the administration's request, but "determined" not to allow Congress to pass it.

"I continue to have great concerns with the Obama administration's disregard of tribal rights and self-determination, even after being reinforced by the United States Supreme Court in its Ramah decision," Murkowski said. "Within the context of the federal budget, the tribal budget is miniscule – and does not deliver justice to our nation's first people in terms of contract support costs. Much more must be done to administer intelligent medical care to a population that – whether it's the troubling diabetes, suicide or alcoholism rates – face tremendous health challenges."

Murkowski previously said at an April 25 hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs that "self-determination contracts are the core of our nation's federal trust relationship with Indian tribes."

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