Tribal Land Leases Could Be Extended

New Mexico – Legislation that would allow a northern New Mexico pueblo to offer long-term leases for lands held in trust is one step closer to becoming law.

New Mexico Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall say the bill involving Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo has been sent to President Barack Obama's desk to be signed.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday.

The bill would authorize leases of up to 99 years for lands held in trust for the pueblo to increase the ability of tribal officials to attract businesses to their community.

Under current law, leases may extend for a maximum of 25 years.

Udall, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, says the legislation could help spur economic growth at the pueblo.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.