Text: S.246 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 114-244 (10/14/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 244]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 130 STAT. 981]]

Public Law 114-244
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To establish the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on 
 Native Children, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 14, 2016 -  [S. 
                                 246]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Alyce Spotted 
Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter 
Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act''.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Alyce 
        Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children 
        established by section 3.
            (2) Indian.--The term ``Indian'' has the meaning given the 
        term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
        Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (3) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and 
        Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (4) Native child.--The term ``Native child'' means--
                    (A) an Indian child, as that term is defined in 
                section 4 of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 
                U.S.C. 1903);
                    (B) an Indian who is between the ages of 18 and 24 
                years old; and
                    (C) a Native Hawaiian who is not older than 24 years 
                old.
            (5) Native hawaiian.--The term ``Native Hawaiian'' has the 
        meaning given the term in section 7207 of the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7517).
            (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (7) Tribal college or university.--The term ``Tribal College 
        or University'' has the meaning given the term in section 316(b) 
        of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b)).
SEC. 3. COMMISSION ON NATIVE CHILDREN.

    (a) <<NOTE: Establishment.>>  In General.--There is established a 
commission in the Office of Tribal Justice of the Department of Justice, 
to be known as the ``Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission 
on Native Children''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Consultations.>>  Membership.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission shall be composed of 11 
        members, of whom--

[[Page 130 STAT. 982]]

                    (A) <<NOTE: President.>>  3 shall be appointed by 
                the President, in consultation with--
                          (i) the Attorney General;
                          (ii) the Secretary;
                          (iii) the Secretary of Education; and
                          (iv) the Secretary of Health and Human 
                      Services;
                    (B) 3 shall be appointed by the Majority Leader of 
                the Senate, in consultation with the Chairperson of the 
                Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate;
                    (C) 1 shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of 
                the Senate, in consultation with the Vice Chairperson of 
                the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate;
                    (D) 3 shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House 
                of Representatives, in consultation with the Chairperson 
                of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
                Representatives; and
                    (E) 1 shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of 
                the House of Representatives, in consultation with the 
                Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources of 
                the House of Representatives.
            (2) Requirements for eligibility.--
                    (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), each 
                member of the Commission shall have significant 
                experience and expertise in--
                          (i) Indian affairs; and
                          (ii) matters to be studied by the Commission, 
                      including--
                                    (I) health care issues facing Native 
                                children, including mental health, 
                                physical health, and nutrition;
                                    (II) Indian education, including 
                                experience with Bureau of Indian 
                                Education schools and public schools, 
                                tribally operated schools, tribal 
                                colleges or universities, early 
                                childhood education programs, and the 
                                development of extracurricular programs;
                                    (III) juvenile justice programs 
                                relating to prevention and reducing 
                                incarceration and rates of recidivism; 
                                and
                                    (IV) social service programs that 
                                are used by Native children and designed 
                                to address basic needs, such as food, 
                                shelter, and safety, including child 
                                protective services, group homes, and 
                                shelters.
                    (B) Experts.--
                          (i) Native children.--1 member of the 
                      Commission shall--
                                    (I) meet the requirements of 
                                subparagraph (A); and
                                    (II) be responsible for providing 
                                the Commission with insight into and 
                                input from Native children on the 
                                matters studied by the Commission.
                          (ii) Research.--1 member of the Commission 
                      shall--
                                    (I) meet the requirements of 
                                subparagraph (A); and

[[Page 130 STAT. 983]]

                                    (II) have extensive experience in 
                                statistics or social science research.
            (3) Terms.--
                    (A) In general.--Each member of the Commission shall 
                be appointed for the life of the Commission.
                    (B) Vacancies.--A vacancy in the Commission shall be 
                filled in the manner in which the original appointment 
                was made.

    (c) Operation.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Chairperson.--Not later than 15 
        days after the date on which all members of the Commission have 
        been appointed, the Commission shall select 1 member to serve as 
        Chairperson of the Commission.
            (2) Meetings.--
                    (A) In general.--The Commission shall meet at the 
                call of the Chairperson.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Initial meeting.--The 
                initial meeting of the Commission shall take place not 
                later than 30 days after the date described in paragraph 
                (1).
            (3) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission 
        shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may 
        hold hearings.
            (4) Rules.--The Commission may establish, by majority vote, 
        any rules for the conduct of Commission business, in accordance 
        with this Act and other applicable law.

    (d) Native Advisory Committee.--
            (1) Establishment.--The Commission shall establish a 
        committee, to be known as the ``Native Advisory Committee''.
            (2) Membership.--
                    (A) Composition.--The Native Advisory Committee 
                shall consist of--
                          (i) 1 representative of Indian tribes from 
                      each region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who is 
                      25 years of age or older; and
                          (ii) 1 Native Hawaiian who is 25 years of age 
                      or older.
                    (B) Qualifications.--Each member of the Native 
                Advisory Committee shall have experience relating to 
                matters to be studied by the Commission.
            (3) Duties.--The Native Advisory Committee shall--
                    (A) serve as an advisory body to the Commission; and
                    (B) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions. Determination.>>  
                provide to the Commission advice and recommendations, 
                submit materials, documents, testimony, and such other 
                information as the Commission determines to be necessary 
                to carry out the duties of the Commission under this 
                section.
            (4) <<NOTE: Establishment.>>  Native children 
        subcommittee.--The Native Advisory Committee shall establish a 
        subcommittee that shall consist of at least 1 member from each 
        region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and 1 Native Hawaiian, 
        each of whom shall be a Native child, and have experience 
        serving on the council of a tribal, regional, or national youth 
        organization.

    (e) Comprehensive Study of Native Children Issues.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Evaluation.>>  In general.--The Commission shall 
        conduct a comprehensive study of Federal, State, local, and 
        tribal programs that serve Native children, including an 
        evaluation of--

[[Page 130 STAT. 984]]

                    (A) the impact of concurrent jurisdiction on child 
                welfare systems;
                    (B) the barriers Indian tribes and Native Hawaiians 
                face in applying, reporting on, and using existing 
                public and private grant resources, including 
                identification of any Federal cost-sharing requirements;
                    (C) the obstacles to nongovernmental financial 
                support, such as from private foundations and corporate 
                charities, for programs benefitting Native children;
                    (D) the issues relating to data collection, such as 
                small sample sizes, large margins of error, or other 
                issues related to the validity and statistical 
                significance of data on Native children;
                    (E) the barriers to the development of sustainable, 
                multidisciplinary programs designed to assist high-risk 
                Native children and families of those high-risk Native 
                children;
                    (F) cultural or socioeconomic challenges in 
                communities of Native children;
                    (G) any examples of successful program models and 
                use of best practices in programs that serve children 
                and families;
                    (H) the barriers to interagency coordination on 
                programs benefitting Native children; and
                    (I) the use of memoranda of agreement or interagency 
                agreements to facilitate or improve agency coordination, 
                including the effects of existing memoranda or 
                interagency agreements on program service delivery and 
                efficiency.
            (2) Coordination.--In conducting the study under paragraph 
        (1), the Commission shall, to the maximum extent practicable--
                    (A) to avoid duplication of efforts, collaborate 
                with other workgroups focused on similar issues, such as 
                the Task Force on American Indian/Alaska Native Children 
                Exposed to Violence of the Attorney General; and
                    (B) to improve coordination and reduce travel costs, 
                use available technology.
            (3) Recommendations.--Taking into consideration the results 
        of the study under paragraph (1) and the analysis of any 
        existing data relating to Native children received from Federal 
        agencies, the Commission shall--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Plans.>>  develop recommendations for 
                goals, and plans for achieving those goals, for Federal 
                policy relating to Native children in the short-, mid-, 
                and long-term, which shall be informed by the 
                development of accurate child well-being measures, 
                except that the Commission shall not consider or 
                recommend the recognition or the establishment of a 
                government-to-government relationship with--
                          (i) any entity not recognized on or before the 
                      date of enactment of this Act by the Federal 
                      Government through an Act of Congress, Executive 
                      action, judicial decree, or any other action; or
                          (ii) any entity not included in the list 
                      authorized pursuant to the Federally Recognized 
                      Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a et 
                      seq.);
                    (B) make recommendations on necessary modifications 
                and improvements to programs that serve Native children

[[Page 130 STAT. 985]]

                at the Federal, State, and tribal levels, on the 
                condition that the recommendations recognize the 
                diversity in cultural values, integrate the cultural 
                strengths of the communities of the Native children, and 
                will result in--
                          (i) improvements to the child welfare system 
                      that--
                                    (I) reduce the disproportionate rate 
                                at which Native children enter child 
                                protective services and the period of 
                                time spent in the foster system;
                                    (II) increase coordination among 
                                social workers, police, and foster 
                                families assisting Native children while 
                                in the foster system to result in the 
                                increased safety of Native children 
                                while in the foster system;
                                    (III) encourage the hiring and 
                                retention of licensed social workers in 
                                Native communities;
                                    (IV) address the lack of available 
                                foster homes in Native communities; and
                                    (V) reduce truancy and improve the 
                                academic proficiency and graduation 
                                rates of Native children in the foster 
                                system;
                          (ii) improvements to the mental and physical 
                      health of Native children, taking into 
                      consideration the rates of suicide, substance 
                      abuse, and access to nutrition and health care, 
                      including--
                                    (I) <<NOTE: Analysis.>>  an analysis 
                                of the increased access of Native 
                                children to Medicaid under the Patient 
                                Protection and Affordable Care Act 
                                (Public Law 111-148) and the effect of 
                                that increase on the ability of Indian 
                                tribes and Native Hawaiians to develop 
                                sustainable health programs; and
                                    (II) <<NOTE: Evaluation.>>  an 
                                evaluation of the effects of a lack of 
                                public sanitation infrastructure, 
                                including in-home sewer and water, on 
                                the health status of Native children;
                          (iii) improvements to educational and 
                      vocational opportunities for Native children that 
                      will lead to--
                                    (I) increased school attendance, 
                                performance, and graduation rates for 
                                Native children across all educational 
                                levels, including early education, post-
                                secondary, and graduate school;
                                    (II) localized strategies developed 
                                by educators, tribal and community 
                                leaders, and law enforcement to prevent 
                                and reduce truancy among Native 
                                children;
                                    (III) scholarship opportunities at a 
                                Tribal College or University and other 
                                public and private postsecondary 
                                institutions;
                                    (IV) increased participation of the 
                                immediate families of Native children;
                                    (V) coordination among schools and 
                                Indian tribes that serve Native 
                                children, including in the areas of data 
                                sharing and student tracking;
                                    (VI) accurate identification of 
                                students as Native children; and
                                    (VII) increased school counseling 
                                services, improved access to quality 
                                nutrition at school, and safe student 
                                transportation;

[[Page 130 STAT. 986]]

                          (iv) improved policies and practices by local 
                      school districts that would result in improved 
                      academic proficiency for Native children;
                          (v) increased access to extracurricular 
                      activities for Native children that are designed 
                      to increase self-esteem, promote community 
                      engagement, and support academic excellence while 
                      also serving to prevent unplanned pregnancy, 
                      membership in gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, and 
                      suicide, including activities that incorporate 
                      traditional language and cultural practices of 
                      Indians and Native Hawaiians;
                          (vi) taking into consideration the report of 
                      the Indian Law and Order Commission issued 
                      pursuant to section 15(f) of the Indian Law 
                      Enforcement Reform Act (25 U.S.C. 2812(f)), 
                      improvements to Federal, State, and tribal 
                      juvenile justice systems and detention programs--
                                    (I) to provide greater access to 
                                educational opportunities and social 
                                services for incarcerated Native 
                                children;
                                    (II) to promote prevention and 
                                reduce incarceration and recidivism 
                                rates among Native children;
                                    (III) to identify intervention 
                                approaches and alternatives to 
                                incarceration of Native children;
                                    (IV) to incorporate families and the 
                                traditional cultures of Indians and 
                                Native Hawaiians in the juvenile justice 
                                process, including through the 
                                development of a family court for 
                                juvenile offenses; and
                                    (V) to prevent unnecessary 
                                detentions and identify successful 
                                reentry programs;
                          (vii) expanded access to a continuum of early 
                      development and learning services for Native 
                      children from prenatal to age 5 that are 
                      culturally competent, support Native language 
                      preservation, and comprehensively promote the 
                      health, well-being, learning, and development of 
                      Native children, such as--
                                    (I) high quality early care and 
                                learning programs for children starting 
                                from birth, including Early Head Start, 
                                Head Start, child care, and preschool 
                                programs;
                                    (II) programs, including home 
                                visiting and family resource and support 
                                programs, that increase the capacity of 
                                parents to support the learning and 
                                development of the children of the 
                                parents, beginning prenatally, and 
                                connect the parents with necessary 
                                resources;
                                    (III) early intervention and 
                                preschool services for infants, 
                                toddlers, and preschool-aged children 
                                with developmental delays or 
                                disabilities; and
                                    (IV) professional development 
                                opportunities for Native providers of 
                                early development and learning services;
                          (viii) the development of a system that 
                      delivers wrap-around services to Native children 
                      in a way that is comprehensive and sustainable, 
                      including through increased coordination among 
                      Indian tribes, schools,

[[Page 130 STAT. 987]]

                      law enforcement, health care providers, social 
                      workers, and families;
                          (ix) more flexible use of existing Federal 
                      programs, such as by--
                                    (I) providing Indians and Native 
                                Hawaiians with more flexibility to carry 
                                out programs, while maintaining 
                                accountability, minimizing 
                                administrative time, cost, and expense 
                                and reducing the burden of Federal 
                                paperwork requirements; and
                                    (II) allowing unexpended Federal 
                                funds to be used flexibly to support 
                                programs benefitting Native children, 
                                while taking into account--
                                            (aa) the Indian Employment, 
                                        Training and Related Services 
                                        Demonstration Act of 1992 (25 
                                        U.S.C. 3401 note; 106 Stat. 
                                        2302);
                                            (bb) the Coordinated Tribal 
                                        Assistance Solicitation program 
                                        of the Department of Justice;
                                            (cc) the Federal policy of 
                                        self-determination; and
                                            (dd) any consolidated grant 
                                        programs; and
                          (x) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  solutions to 
                      other issues that, as determined by the 
                      Commission, would improve the health, safety, and 
                      well-being of Native children;
                    (C) <<NOTE: Records.>>  make recommendations for 
                improving data collection methods that consider--
                          (i) the adoption of standard definitions and 
                      compatible systems platforms to allow for greater 
                      linkage of data sets across Federal agencies;
                          (ii) the appropriateness of existing data 
                      categories for comparative purposes;
                          (iii) the development of quality data and 
                      measures, such as by ensuring sufficient sample 
                      sizes and frequency of sampling, for Federal, 
                      State, and tribal programs that serve Native 
                      children;
                          (iv) the collection and measurement of data 
                      that are useful to Indian tribes and Native 
                      Hawaiians;
                          (v) the inclusion of Native children in 
                      longitudinal studies; and
                          (vi) tribal access to data gathered by 
                      Federal, State, and local governmental agencies; 
                      and
                    (D) identify models of successful Federal, State, 
                and tribal programs in the areas studied by the 
                Commission.

    (f) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date on which all 
members of the Commission are appointed and amounts are made available 
to carry out this Act, the Commission shall submit to the President, the 
Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate, and the Committees on 
Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, a report 
that contains--
            (1) a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of 
        the Commission; and
            (2) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  the recommendations of the 
        Commission for such legislative and administrative actions as 
        the Commission considers to be appropriate.

    (g) Powers.--
            (1) Hearings.--

[[Page 130 STAT. 988]]

                    (A) In general.--The Commission may hold such 
                hearings, meet and act at such times and places, take 
                such testimony, and receive such evidence as the 
                Commission considers to be advisable to carry out the 
                duties of the Commission under this section, except that 
                the Commission shall hold not less than 5 hearings in 
                Native communities.
                    (B) Public requirement.--The hearings of the 
                Commission under this paragraph shall be open to the 
                public.
            (2) Witness expenses.--
                    (A) In general.--A witness requested to appear 
                before the Commission shall be paid the same fees and 
                allowances as are paid to witnesses under section 1821 
                of title 28, United States Code.
                    (B) Per diem and mileage.--The fees and allowances 
                for a witness shall be paid from funds made available to 
                the Commission.
            (3) Information from federal, tribal, and state agencies.--
                    (A) In general.--The Commission may secure directly 
                from a Federal agency such information as the Commission 
                considers to be necessary to carry out this section.
                    (B) Tribal and state agencies.--The Commission may 
                request the head of any tribal or State agency to 
                provide to the Commission such information as the 
                Commission considers to be necessary to carry out this 
                Act.
            (4) Postal services.--The Commission may use the United 
        States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as 
        other agencies of the Federal Government.
            (5) Gifts.--The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of 
        gifts or donations of services or property related to the 
        purpose of the Commission.

    (h) Commission Personnel Matters.--
            (1) Travel expenses.--A member of the Commission shall be 
        allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of 
        subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency 
        under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, 
        while away from the home or regular place of business of the 
        member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.
            (2) Detail of federal employees.--
                    (A) In general.--On the affirmative vote of \2/3\ of 
                the members of the Commission--
                          (i) the Attorney General, the Secretary, the 
                      Secretary of Education, and the Secretary of the 
                      Health and Human Services shall each detail, 
                      without reimbursement, 1 or more employees of the 
                      Department of Justice, the Department of the 
                      Interior, the Department of Education, and the 
                      Department of Health and Human Services; and
                          (ii) with the approval of the appropriate 
                      Federal agency head, an employee of any other 
                      Federal agency may be, without reimbursement, 
                      detailed to the Commission.

[[Page 130 STAT. 989]]

                    (B) Effect on detailees.--Detail under this 
                paragraph shall be without interruption or loss of civil 
                service status, benefits, or privileges.
            (3) Procurement of temporary and intermittent services.--
                    (A) In general.--On request of the Commission, the 
                Attorney General shall provide to the Commission, on a 
                reimbursable basis, reasonable and appropriate office 
                space, supplies, and administrative assistance.
                    (B) No requirement for physical facilities.--The 
                Administrator of General Services shall not be required 
                to locate a permanent, physical office space for the 
                operation of the Commission.
            (4) Members not federal employees.--No member of the 
        Commission, the Native Advisory Committee, or the Native 
        Children Subcommittee shall be considered to be a Federal 
        employee.

    (i) Termination of Commission.--The Commission shall terminate 90 
days after the date on which the Commission submits the report under 
subsection (f).
    (j) Nonapplicability of FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission, the Native Advisory 
Committee, or the Native Children Subcommittee.
    (k) Effect.--This Act shall not be construed to recognize or 
establish a government-to-government relationship with--
            (1) any entity not recognized on or before the date of 
        enactment of this Act by the Federal Government through an Act 
        of Congress, Executive action, judicial decree, or any other 
        action; or
            (2) any entity not included in the list authorized pursuant 
        to the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 
        U.S.C. 479a et seq.).

    Approved October 14, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 246:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 114-722 (Comm. on Natural Resources).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 114-39 (Comm. on Indian Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 161 (2015):
                                    June 1, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.
                                                        Vol. 162 (2016):
                                    Sept. 12, considered and passed 
                                        House, amended.
                                    Sept. 29, Senate concurred in House 
                                        amendment.
DAILY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (2016):
            Oct. 14, Presidential statement.

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