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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 428

 To provide for the distribution of judgment funds to the Assiniboine 
             and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           February 24, 2003

  Mr. Baucus introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
              referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To provide for the distribution of judgment funds to the Assiniboine 
             and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the 
Fort Peck Reservation Judgment Fund Distribution Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) on December 18, 1987, the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes 
        of the Fort Peck Reservation and 5 individual Fort Peck tribal 
        members filed a complaint before the United States Claims Court 
        (currently the Court of Federal Claims) in Assiniboine and 
        Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation, et al, v. The United 
        States of America, Docket No. 773-87-L to recover interest 
        earned on trust funds while those funds were held in special 
        deposit and IMPL-agency accounts;
            (2) in the case referred to in paragraph (1), the Court 
        held that the United States was liable for any income derived 
        from investment of the trust funds of the Tribe and individual 
        members of the Tribe for the period during which those funds 
        were held in special deposit and IMPL-agency accounts;
            (3) the plaintiffs in the case referred to in paragraph (1) 
        entered into a settlement with the United States for claims 
        made under Docket No. 773-87-L on December 31, 1998, for 
        payment by the United States of--
                    (A) $1,339,415.33, representing interest earned on 
                funds while held in Special Deposit accounts at the 
                Fort Peck Agency during the period August 13, 1946, 
                through September 30, 1981;
                    (B) $2,749,354.41, representing--
                            (i) interest on the principal indebtedness 
                        for the period from August 13, 1946, through 
                        July 31, 1998; plus
                            (ii) $364.27 in per diem interest on the 
                        principal indebtedness for each day during the 
                        period commencing August 1, 1998, and ending on 
                        the date on which the judgment is paid; and
                    (C) $350,000, representing the litigation costs and 
                attorney's fees that the Tribe incurred to prosecute 
                those claims;
            (4) the terms of the settlement were approved by the Court 
        on January 8, 1999, and judgment was entered on January 12, 
        1999;
            (5) on March 18, 1999, $4,522,551.84 was transferred to the 
        Department of the Interior;
            (6) that judgment amount was deposited in an escrow account 
        established to provide--
                    (A) $350,000 for the payment of attorney's fees and 
                expenses; and
                    (B) $4,172,551.84 for pending Court-ordered 
                distribution to the Tribe and individual Indian trust 
                beneficiaries;
            (7) on January 31, 2001, the Court approved a joint 
        stipulation that established procedures for--
                    (A) identification of the class of individual 
                Indians having an interest in the judgment;
                    (B) notice to and certification of that class; and
                    (C) the distribution of the judgment amount to the 
                Tribe and affected class of individual Indians;
            (8)(A) on or about February 14, 2001, in accordance with 
        the Court-approved stipulation, $643,186.73 was transferred to 
        an account established by the Secretary for the benefit of the 
        Tribe; and
            (B) that transferred amount represents--
                            (i) 54.2 percent of the Tribe's estimated 
                        26-percent share of the amount referred to in 
                        paragraph (6)(B); plus
                            (ii) 50 percent of the Tribe's estimated 
                        26-percent share of interest and capital gains 
                        earned on the judgment amount from the period 
                        beginning March 18, 1999, and ending on 
                        December 31, 2000;
            (9) under the Court-approved stipulation--
                    (A) that transferred amount is to remain available 
                for use by the Tribe in accordance  with a plan adopted 
under the Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act (25 
U.S.C. 1401 et seq.);
                    (B) the Tribe will most likely receive additional 
                payments from the distribution amount once the 
                identification of all individuals eligible to share in 
                the distribution amount is completed and the pro rata 
                shares are calculated; and
                    (C) those additional payments would include--
                            (i) the balance of the share of the Tribe 
                        of the distribution amount and investment 
                        income earned on the distribution amount;
                            (ii) the portion of the distribution amount 
                        that represents income derived on funds in 
                        special deposit accounts that are not 
                        attributable to the Tribe or any individual 
                        Indian; and
                            (iii) the portion of the distribution 
                        amount that represents shares attributable to 
                        individual Indians that--
                                    (I) cannot be located for purposes 
                                of accepting payment; and
                                    (II) will not be bound by the 
                                judgment in the case referred to in 
                                paragraph (1); and
            (10) pursuant to the Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or 
        Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1401 et. seq.), the Secretary is 
        required to submit to Congress for approval an Indian judgment 
        fund use or distribution plan.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Court.--The term ``Court'' means the United States 
        Court of Federal Claims.
            (2) Distribution amount.--The term ``distribution amount'' 
        means the amount referred to in section 2(6)(B).
            (3) Judgment amount.--The term ``judgment amount'' means 
        the amount referred to in section 2(a)(5).
            (4) Principal indebtedness.--The term ``principal 
        indebtedness'' means the sum referred to in section 2(a)(3)(A).
            (5) Tribe.--The term ``Tribe'' means the Assiniboine and 
        Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation.

SEC. 4. DISTRIBUTION OF JUDGMENT FUNDS.

    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any provision of the Indian Tribal 
Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) to the 
contrary, the share of the Tribe of the distribution amount, and such 
additional amounts as may be awarded to the Tribe by the Court with 
respect to the case referred to in section 2(a)(1) (including any 
interest accrued on those amounts)--
            (1) shall be made available for tribal health, education, 
        housing and social services programs of the Tribe, including--
                    (A) educational and youth programs;
                    (B) programs for improvement of facilities and 
                housing;
                    (C) programs to provide equipment for public 
                utilities;
                    (D) programs to provide medical assistance or 
                dental, optical, or convalescent equipment; and
                    (E) programs to provide senior citizen and 
                community services; and
            (2) shall not be available for per capita distribution to 
        any member of the Tribe.
    (b) Budget Specification.--The specific programs for which funds 
are made available under subsection (a)(1), and the amount of funds 
allocated to each of those programs, shall be specified in an annual 
budget developed by the Tribe and approved by the Secretary.

SEC. 5. APPLICABLE LAW.

    Except as provided in section 4(a), all funds distributed under 
this Act are subject to sections 7 and 8 of the Indian Tribal Judgment 
Funds Use or Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1407, 1408).
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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