Government

Third special session of the Fourth ON Congress to start July 31

Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear has issued an executive proclamation for the third special session of the Fourth ON Congress July 31.

The Congress will consider the following subjects listed on the special session’s proclamation dated July 16 and signed by Standing Bear:

- Budget modification for the ON Attorney General’s office.

- Budget modification for the Osage News.

- Accounting budget modification for tribal government indirect costs.

- Amendments to the Nation’s restricted real property re-purchasing act.

- Two 2015 fiscal year budgets for ON Communities of Excellence programs.

- Amendments to the Nation’s open records act.

- Legislation for restructuring the Executive Branch.

On July 24, Standing Bear’s office issued an updated special session proclamation signed by Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn stating the Executive Branch will also present a 2014 fiscal year loan payment budget for the Nation’s campus master plan.

The consideration of a loan budget comes after the Third ON Congress passed a resolution (ONCR 14-14) by majority vote to approve the execution of a loan agreement, including a limited waiver of sovereign immunity, for the loan from Bank of Oklahoma. ONCR 14-14 passed during the June 17 special session with a 6-5 vote.

According to ONCR14-14, the loan is for a maximum amount of $10 million to cover construction costs for phase I of the campus master plan now under construction.

Also recently filed is bill ONCA 14-47 (sponsored by Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) seeking to repeal and replace the Nation’s Executive Branch Division Organization Act.

If passed, ONCA 14-47 will establish five divisions in Osage law for the Nation’s government departments under the Executive Branch. They are: Division of Child, Family and Senior Community Services; Division of Cultural Preservation, Arts, Heritage and Language; Division of Education and Early Learning; Division of Health, Fitness and Wellness; and Division of Land, Commerce and Public Safety.

ONCA 14-47 also proposes to require that each division have an assigned division leader who holds a master’s degree and at least five years of management experience and/or an advanced degree in a related field.

In the Osage Constitution, the Principal Chief has the power to call for a Congressional special session in addition to the Congress via legislative proclamation. Special sessions may run up to 10 days with a three-day extension if approved by two-thirds of the Congress members or the Principal Chief.

The next regular session of the Congress is the Tzi-Zho Session, which starts Sept. 2 for a 24-day run.