Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act

Section 1 – Short Title

Section 2 – Definitions

Section 3 – Distribution of Western Shoshone Judgment Funds

Section 4 – Distribution of Western Shoshone Joint Judgment Funds

Section 5 – Regulations

Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)
 

–H.R.884–

H.R.884One Hundred Eighth Congress
of the
United States of America
 
AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,

the twentieth day of January, two thousand and four

An Act

To provide for the use and distribution of the funds awarded to the Western Shoshone identifiable group under Indian Claims Commission Docket Numbers 326-A-1, 326-A-3, and 326-K, and for other purposes.

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 `Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act’.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) COMMITTEE- The term `Committee’ means the administrative committee established under section 4(c)(1).

(2) WESTERN SHOSHONE JOINT JUDGMENT FUNDS- The term `Western Shoshone joint judgment funds’ means–

(A) the funds appropriated in satisfaction of the judgment awards granted to the Western Shoshone Indians in Docket Numbers 326-A-1 and 326-A-3 before the United States Court of Claims; and
(B) all interest earned on those funds.
(3) WESTERN SHOSHONE JUDGMENT FUNDS- The term Western Shoshone judgment funds' means--

(A) the funds appropriated in satisfaction of the judgment award granted to the Western Shoshone Indians in Docket Number 326-K before the Indian Claims Commission; and

(B) all interest earned on those funds.

(4) JUDGMENT ROLL- The termjudgment roll’ means the Western Shoshone judgment roll established by the Secretary under section 3(b)(1).
(5) SECRETARY- The term Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

(6) TRUST FUND- The termTrust Fund’ means the Western Shoshone Educational Trust Fund established under section 4(b)(1).
(7) WESTERN SHOSHONE MEMBER- The term `Western Shoshone member’ means an individual who–
(A) (i) appears on the judgment roll; or
(ii) is the lineal descendant of an individual appearing on the roll; and
(B) (i) satisfies all eligibility criteria established by the Committee under section 4(c)(4)(D)(iii);
(ii) meets any application requirements established by the Committee; and
(iii) agrees to use funds distributed in accordance with section 4(b)(2)(B) for educational purposes approved by the Committee.

SEC. 3. DISTRIBUTION OF WESTERN SHOSHONE JUDGMENT FUNDS.

(a) In General- The Western Shoshone judgment funds shall be distributed in accordance with this section.
(b) Judgment Roll-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish a Western Shoshone judgment roll consisting of all individuals who–
(A) have at least 1/4 degree of Western Shoshone blood;
(B) are citizens of the United States; and
(C) are living on the date of enactment of this Act.
(2) INELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS- Any individual that is certified by the Secretary to be eligible to receive a per capita payment from any other judgment fund based on an aboriginal land claim awarded by the Indian Claims Commission, the United States Claims Court, or the United States Court of Federal Claims, that was appropriated on or before the date of enactment of this Act, shall not be listed on the judgment roll.
(3) REGULATIONS REGARDING JUDGMENT ROLL- The Secretary shall–
(A) publish in the Federal Register all regulations governing the establishment of the judgment roll; and
(B) use any documents acceptable to the Secretary in establishing proof of eligibility of an individual to–
(i) be listed on the judgment roll; and
(ii) receive a per capita payment under this Act.

(4) FINALITY OF DETERMINATION- The determination of the Secretary on an application of an individual to be listed on the judgment roll shall be final.
(c) Distribution-
(1) IN GENERAL- On establishment of the judgment roll, the Secretary shall make a per capita distribution of 100 percent of the Western Shoshone judgment funds, in shares as equal as practicable, to each person listed on the judgment roll.
(2) REQUIREMENTS FOR DISTRIBUTION PAYMENTS-
(A) LIVING COMPETENT INDIVIDUALS- The per capita share of a living, competent individual who is 19 years or older on the date of distribution of the Western Shoshone judgment funds under paragraph (1) shall be paid directly to the individual.
(B) LIVING, LEGALLY INCOMPETENT INDIVIDUALS- The per capita share of a living, legally incompetent individual shall be administered in accordance with regulations promulgated and procedures established by the Secretary under section 3(b)(3) of the Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1403(b)(3)).
(C) DECEASED INDIVIDUALS- The per capita share of an individual who is deceased as of the date of distribution of the Western Shoshone judgment funds under paragraph (1) shall be paid to the heirs and legatees of the individual in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary.
(D) INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE AGE OF 19- The per capita share of an individual who is not yet 19 years of age on the date of distribution of the Western Shoshone judgment funds under paragraph (1) shall be–
(i) held by the Secretary in a supervised individual Indian money account; and
(ii) distributed to the individual–
(I) after the individual has reached the age of 18 years; and
(II) in 4 equal payments (including interest earned on the per capita share), to be made–
(aa) with respect to the first payment, on the eighteenth birthday of the individual (or, if the individual is already 18 years of age, as soon as practicable after the date of establishment of the Indian money account of the individual); and

(bb) with respect to the 3 remaining payments, not later than 90 days after each of the 3 subsequent birthdays of the individual.

(3) APPLICABLE LAW- Notwithstanding section 7 of the Indian Tribal Judgment Funds Use or Distribution Act (25 U.S.C. 1407), a per capita share (or the availability of that share) paid under this section shall not–
(A) be subject to Federal or State income taxation;
(B) be considered to be income or resources for any purpose; or
(C) be used as a basis for denying or reducing financial assistance or any other benefit to which a household or Western Shoshone member would otherwise be entitled to receive under–
(i) the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.); or
(ii) any other Federal or federally-assisted program.
(4) UNPAID FUNDS- The Secretary shall add to the Western Shoshone joint judgment funds held in the Trust Fund under section 4(b)(1)–
(A) all per capita shares (including interest earned on those shares) of living competent adults listed on the judgment roll that remain unpaid as of the date that is–
(i) 6 years after the date of distribution of the Western Shoshone judgment funds under paragraph (1); or
(ii) in the case of an individual described in paragraph (2)(D), 6 years after the date on which the individual reaches 18 years of age; and
(B) any other residual principal and interest funds remaining after the distribution under paragraph (1) is complete.

SEC. 4. DISTRIBUTION OF WESTERN SHOSHONE JOINT JUDGMENT FUNDS.

SEC. 5. REGULATIONS.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.

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