Revisor’s Office compiles resolutions, orders, ordinances, and more
Revisor of Statutes Hanna Valento has compiled all 2020 official acts of the Mille Lacs Band tribal government into a single document that is available on the website at millelacsband.com/government/legislative-branch#OfficialsActs.
Publication of the Official Acts is required by Title 25, Section 8 of Band Statutes. The new law was established in December of 2020 by Ordinance 08-21.
"The Official Acts is the first of its kind, which makes them pretty special," said Hanna. "However, as a note, the first time they printed the statute book in 1996, the book had two volumes, the first being the Constitution and Titles 1-15 and the second volume being Titles 16-25 and Executive Orders and Commissioners Orders."
The Official Acts document is over 1,000 pages long and is summarized in the Introduction: “In Fiscal Year 2020, the Band Assembly approved 160 Resolutions and four Legislative Orders. The Band Assembly also approved 64 Ordinances, 54 of which were signed into law by the Chief Executive. The Secretary-Treasurer issued one Secretarial Order; the Chief Executive issued four Executive Orders; the Chief Justice issued four Chief Justice Orders; the Commissioner of Health and Human Services issued two Commissioner’s Orders; and the Solicitor General issued one Opinion of the Solicitor. Each of these records are included in the ’Official Acts’ for 2020.“
Three Legislative Orders made significant changes in the operations of the Legislative Branch, including staff continuity (Order 27-20), establishment of procedures for drafting legislation (28-20) and establishment of agenda and live-streaming procedures (30-20).
The longest chapters are Chapter 3: Ordinances, at more than 350 pages, and Chapter 4: Resolutions, at nearly 800 pages. Many of the Ordinances are appropriations and supplemental appropriations for government departments. Others are amendments to Statutes — some of which were approved and some vetoed by Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin. Among the most significant was Ordinance 27-20 establishing Title 27 — Emergency Management, which laid the legal groundwork for the Band’s response to COVID-19. Resolutions included enrollment approvals and denials, lease cancellations and authorizations, spending authorizations for Corporate Ventures and government departments, grant and membership approvals, joint powers agreements, and other actions.
Executive Orders issued in 2020 include the State of Emergency declaration (2020-03) and the Stay at Home Order (2020-05). The two Commissioner’s Orders issued were the original mask requirement and the first extension of the requirement. The Solicitor’s Opinion came in response to former Rep. Sandra Blake’s request for clarification as to the use and authorization of the new District I Community Center. Chief Justice Orders allowed for continued Tribal Court service during the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing electronic courtroom appearances and document filings.
"The Official Acts, though long, will help the Band keep record of all the ordinances, resolutions, orders, and opinions that flow through the government and create transparency from all branches of government," Hanna said. "We also plan on compiling ordinances, resolutions, orders, and opinions all the way back to the 1980’s and adding those to the website. Moving forward, the Official Acts will be on the Band’s website and printed once a year."