House passes bill to bring ‘much-needed certainty’ to Poarch Band of Creek Indians 1/22/2018

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House passes bill to bring ‘much-needed certainty’ to Poarch Band of Creek Indians

(Courtesy Poarch Band of Creek Indians)

Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope, successfully shepherded a bill through the House of Representatives last week that resolves any potential legal confusion about the land governed by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians after an unrelated Supreme Court ruling in 2009.

The bill, titled the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act, unanimously passed the House by voice vote and is currently awaiting committee action in the Senate.

Key quotes from Byrne’s speech on the House floor:

— “This legislation is necessary due to the legal uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. This decision has unnecessarily created legal ambiguity about whether the Poarch Creek land is actually in trust or not.”

— “To be clear: This legislation would not have any change over the way the Poarch or their land are currently being treated in Alabama. In fact, this legislation simply provides legal certainty to help prevent future challenges regarding the status of the Tribe’s land.”

— “The Poarch Creek Indians are a valued and trusted part of our community in Southwest Alabama. Their economic impact in Escambia County, Alabama, speaks for itself. From their help with funding for community projects to their business enterprises that employ thousands of Alabamians, the Poarch help make life better for so many people in our area.”

Watch the congressman’s speech here: