CNIGA Member Tribes Disappointed by Governor’s Budget Objections

Press Release
For Immediate Release


CNIGA Member Tribes Disappointed by Governor’s Budget Objections

July 12, 2005

On September 10, 1999 sixty-one tribal governments signed compacts with the State of California that promised local governments funds to mitigate the off-reservation effects of tribal government gaming such as increased fire and police protection, road improvements, and other local services. Although tribal governments are not required by federal law to share revenue with local and state governments, tribes have kept that promise by making payments into the Special Distribution Fund created in the compact.

Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger objected to budget line item 0855-101-0367 which would have allocated an additional $20 million of mitigation funds to local governments from the Special Distribution Fund.

“The 64 federally recognized member tribes of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association are deeply disappointed that the Governor chose to deprive local governments from the funds they were promised and instead decided to hold the funds in a reserve account, said CNIGA Chairman Anthony Miranda. CNIGA calls upon the Governor to follow through with the promise made to local governments by both the State of California and the tribal governments when they entered into these compacts by releasing the funds to be allocated as intended.”


On September 10, 1999, sixty-one tribal governments entered into gaming compacts with the State of California. These compacts unanimously approved by the California State Legislature and were approved by the Department of the Interior on May 16, 2000. The compacts expire in May of 2020.

Contained in these compacts was a provision for tribes to pay into a fund titled the Special Distribution Fund (SDF). These funds are to be used for to reimburse local governments impacted by off-reservation effects of tribal gaming, problem gambling treatment and prevention programs, and to pay

the state for regulatory costs. Money from the fund may also be used to make up for shortfalls in a second Revenue Sharing Trust Fund through which gaming tribes share revenues with non-gaming tribal governments and those with limited gaming.


Representing 64 member tribes, CNIGA is the largest association of California federally recognized tribal governments. CNIGA is dedicated to protecting the sovereign right of Indian tribes to have gaming on federally-recognized Indian lands. It acts as a planning and coordinating agency for legislative, policy, legal and communications efforts on behalf of its members and serves as an industry forum for information and resources.

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