MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox says the Tribe is struggling to be heard at the state legislature.
In January, KX News laid out the three main issues important to tribal leadership.
Chairmans Fox and Jamie Azure of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa have raised concerns about the proposed expansion of gaming at the state level, saying it would take away revenue that the Tribes rely on.
The Chairmans played a big role in drafting two bills that would put more regulation on things like E-tabs and allow Tribes the option to expand their own gaming enterprises outside of Tribal lands.
Both Senate Bills 2314 and 2315 were defeated.
Also defeated, a Senate Bill Chairman Fox says was proposed to work toward sharing alcohol tax revenue on the reservation with the state.
“The public in general, the non-tribal public, they have this feeling that MHA Nation is coming and constantly for state revenue, a share of state revenue,” Fox summarized. “The taxation at stake here does not exclusively belong to the state, it belongs to both of us by law, United States Supreme Court law.”
Fox says one bill the Tribe supports that is getting some traction in discussion relates to oil and gas agreements. He says, right now, there are wells bordering the reservation that extract oil from within the boundary, and the Tribe goes without any tax revenue from them.
That bill passed the Senate and awaits a decision in the House.