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Grand Ronde bill moving forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives approved Jan. 13 an amendment to the Grand Ronde Reservation Act that would streamline how the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde take land into trust.

January 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives approved Jan. 13 an amendment to the Grand Ronde Reservation Act that would streamline how the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde take land into trust.

House Resolution 841, introduced by Congressman Kurt Schrader in February 2013, passed the House, receiving support from Oregon's entire delegation. The amendment consolidates the lengthy and expensive two-step process — requiring both approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Congress — into one step.

CTGR Chairman Reyn Leno thanked Schrader and the Oregon delegation in a Jan. 13 statement, saying their effort to pass the legislation is appreciated.

"This legislation is supported by both the commissioners in Polk and Yamhill counties, who, like us, are focused on making their governments more efficient and using their revenues more wisely," Leno said. "This legislation will enable the tribe to more efficiently move the land it owns into reservation status, which is historically a very complex and time-consuming process."

The legislation only applies to land within the boundaries of its original reservation established in 1857. In addition, the amendment prohibits the use of any land taken into trust to be used for any gaming activity unless it is within two miles of Spirit Mountain Casino.

A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate in February 2013 by Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

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