The Legislature held an open discussion on the proposed disbursement of American Rescue Plan Act funds by the Ho-Chunk Nation. This matter is also being litigated in Ho-Chunk Nation Trial Courts as CV 21-13, President v. Legislature.
Upon learning that the Nation would receive federal funds to aid in the tribal recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Legislature held a series of public discussions to gather tribal members’ priorities. Those discussions guided the Legislature to compile that list of priorities to appropriate those funds once they were made available by the US Department of the Treasury.
The highest priority made by the tribal members during those discussions was in economic assistance directly to tribal families. The Legislature requested to provide a disbursement to tribal members amounting to $700 each month from January to June 2022. The President subsequently filed a complaint in the courts along with a motion for temporary injunction. No injunction was issued at that time.
On December 1, 2021, an email was circulated with a press release from the Office of the President detailing a payment to tribal members amounting to $3000 per adult tribal member and $1500 per minor tribal member to be disbursed the first week of December. The Legislature filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to challenge the President’s authority to appropriate funds. The courts granted a temporary preliminary injunction to prevent any party from making a distribution before the courts could rule on the matter.