Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs three more virus relief payments to adult membership

06.18.2020 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Adult Tribal members will see a series of three virus relief payments totaling $1,800 over the summer.

Tribal Council approved a third supplemental budget on Thursday, June 18, that will allocate $8.1 million that the Tribe received in federal funding to pay for the virus relief payments.

The approximately 4,500 adult Tribal members will each receive $600 on June 24, July 17 and Aug. 14, said Finance Officer Chris Leno.

The funding comes from the Tribe’s share of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act monies. Although the Tribe has not disclosed exactly how much it has received in CARES Act funding, a Harvard study estimates the amount is approximately $33 million based on the U.S. Treasury’s announced formula for determining allocations to Tribes.

The summer disbursements will bring the total number of coronavirus relief payments to five and help Tribal members affected by the pandemic and the absence of a June per capita distribution because Spirit Mountain Casino was closed from mid-March through May 31.

By the end of summer, adult Tribal members will have received $2,600 in virus relief financial aid, which is approximately 56 percent of per capita distributed in 2019. The payments are classified as general welfare disbursements and are not taxable.

Tribal Council approved the first supplemental $1.8 million budget on April 23 and $400 payments were mailed out and deposited directly into Tribal members’ bank accounts on April 29.

Tribal Council approved a second $1.9 million supplemental budget on May 21 that sent another $400 virus relief payment to adult Tribal members to help them deal with the financial effects caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.