The Second Osage Nation Congress will meet for the annual Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 6 in the Congressional Chambers on the ON government campus.
This is the second of two regular 24-day sessions held annually by the Congress. This will be the second Tzi-Zho Session for the Second ON Congress since the 2010 general election in which four Congress members won their initial terms and two members were reelected.
The Tzi-Zho Session is typically when the Congressional body reviews, considers and passes the annual government operation budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. The Nation’s 2011 fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and FY 2012 starts Oct. 1.
Each of the Nation’s three government branches will submit their respective budgets to the Congress, which will consider the budgets in subcommittees before a floor vote by the entire Congress.
The Executive Branch will have the highest number of budgets to submit, which include scores of government departments offering goods and services to Osage citizens as well as a budget for the Office of the Chiefs and boards and committees’ operations.
The FY 2011 budget for government operations covered 98 programs, departments and grants awarded to the Nation and comprised 97 pages.
The Judicial Branch will submit its own budget for the Nation’s trial and Supreme Court functions and the Legislative Branch’s budget covers the Congressional office and session expenses and operations.
Congress will also consider a budget for donations to cultural causes including the villages’ five-man boards, drumkeepers and military organizations.
In addition to the budgets, Congress will consider legislative bills or resolutions introduced by one of its 12 members.
This session, Congress may take up the following legislative items recently filed:
- Congressman Geoffrey Standing Bear has filed a bill (ONCA 11-77) to create a revolving fund for expenses related to the Osage Nation Code.
The Nation is in the process of revising its tribal laws to conform to the 2006 reformed government. According to the bill, “the purpose of this act is to establish a fund on behalf of the Legislative Branch for the Osage Nation Code book revenues and future codification expenses.”
- Standing Bear has also filed ONCA 11-79, which would “remove the authority of the Osage Gaming Board of Directors to retain legal counsel and to reserve that authority to the Osage Nation Executive Branch.”
- The Congress may also review a revised ON Election Code to revise laws pertaining to the Nation’s election. The next general election will be in June 2012 when six Congressional terms will expire and be up for grabs by all interested Osage candidates.
- An earlier revision of the Election Code (ONCA 11-40 sponsored by Congressman Raymond Red Corn) was considered in the Hun-Kah Session earlier this year, but was tabled pending inquiries sought from the Attorney General’s office.
For more information on Congress, including Congressional committee meeting notices and pieces of legislation filed, visit its Web site at www.osagetribe.com/congress. The 24-day session may also be extended three additional days if Congress agrees to extend the session.