The Osage Nation Congress voted Monday to send another letter to Principal Chief Jim Gray stating that the Nation’s 2010 fiscal year budget total will be $25 million, which includes money already appropriated for five 2010 budgets.
“These are the legislative appropriation bill, the judicial appropriation bill, cultural donation, boards and commissions and federal stimulus matching,” said Congressman Doug Revard who made the motion on the first day of the 23rd Special Session.
This letter to Gray clarifies an earlier letter Congress voted to send to the Chief on Dec. 9 asking that the budget spending amount be lowered to $25 million.
Revard’s motion passed 8-3 with Congresswomen Debra Atterberry, Shannon Edwards and Congressman Raymond Red Corn voting against. Congressman Mark Freeman was absent during Monday’s session.
The bill numbers referred to in Revard’s motion are: ONCA 09-58, ONCA 09-59, ONCA 09-62, ONCA 09-65, and ONCA 10-04. All have since been passed while the Executive Branch’s government operations budgets are the target of the ongoing budget impasse between Congress and Gray’s office.
Effort to set the Nation’s projected revenue at $33 million fails
In related budget matters on Monday, Congresswoman Shannon Edwards introduced ONCR 10-05 which is a resolution to set the Nation’s projected revenue amount at $33.1 million, but motions to fast track the resolution onto first and second readings were unsuccessful.
Both motions made by Edwards failed for lack of support. According to the resolution, Edwards is asking the Congress to set the projected revenue at $33.1 million with $31.3 million projected from gaming, $1.3 million from the Nation’s Tax Commission and $500,000 projected from interest on cash deposits to the Nation.
Last week, newly selected Gaming Enterprise Board member Liz Homer said the Nation’s projected gaming revenue is $31 million.
Edwards introduces bill to pass 2010 health, wellness and community service budgets
Also on Monday, Edwards introduced ONCA 10-20, which is “an act to provide an appropriation to the health and wellness and child, senior and community services divisions, entities and programs and departments” of the Nation’s Executive Branch.
The bill calls for approving the affected budgets which have the “blessings” of the program directors who met with the Congressional Health and Social Services Committee last week, Edwards said.
The appropriations in Edwards’ bill would go toward the Nation’s burial assistance service, medical services, “and other things that are being affected by the delay in getting the (budgets) bill passed,” she said.
“This is a carve out of the health and wellness and senior and community services budgets”, which have been reviewed and are ready, Edwards said. The affected programs are operating under the one-twelfth spending restriction with the other Executive Branch departments.
The Executive Branch has said several of its departments’ operations have been affected by the one-twelfth spending restriction including WIC, Social Services and the Senior Service Program (Title IV).
Gray was out on travel Monday and did not attend this Special Session’s opening day.
Congress is adjourned until 10 a.m. Thursday.