A bill that would extend the life of a state task force on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls easily cleared a senate committee on Tuesday.
The task force was created during the 2020 legislative session at the urging of the nonprofit group Restoring Ancestral Winds and was meant to identify causes behind the statistics and develop a report with recommendations for better addressing these issues, but COVID threw a wrench in the task force's plans.
According to Moroni Benally, coordinator of advocacy and public policy with Restoring Ancestral Winds, the spread of COVID-19 meant many other issues had to be prioritized in order to respond to the pandemic.
The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee voted unanimously on the proposal made by Rep. Angela Romero in H.B. 41 to extend the task force until 2023. Having already passed the House, it now heads to the full Senate for a final vote.