Osage Congress passes budget-related bills

The Fourth Osage Nation Congress adjourned its 10th special session on Day Seven after considering all legislative matters on Jan. 27.

Other passed legislative items considered include:

- ONCA 16-19: A budget modification (sponsored by Congressman Otto Hamilton) for the Child, Family and Senior Community Services Division. The bill adjusts the division budget to allow for additional staff for the Food Distribution program.

Fi Davis, Food Distribution program director, requested the budget modification, which was considered during the Jan. 21 Congressional Health and Social Services Committee meeting. The budget modification calls for moving $29,000 from the supplies line to salaries/ wages to maintain current staffing with six employees working in the program.

Assistant Chief Raymond Red Corn said the budget modification was sought to fund a warehouse worker position salary and benefits, which was inadvertently left out when the 2016 fiscal year budgets were approved last fall. Davis told the committee he’s had six employees since the program started in 1994.

- ONCA 16-20: An act (sponsored by Congressman Otto Hamilton) to provide a supplemental appropriation of $406,187 to the governmental operations division. According to a fiscal analysis of the bill, $400,000 of the requested money is intended for professional fees in the Tribal Development and Land Acquisition department budget for land-into-trust application costs.

The remaining $6,000 will be used toward a federal Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) that is being sought to fund and provide body cameras for ON Police Department officers.  

On Jan. 28, the Congressional office reported that Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear signed remaining special session bills and resolutions passed by Congress during the special session that started on Jan. 20.

The next meeting of Congress is the 24-day spring Hun-Kah Session starting on March 28 or if another special session proclamation is issued by either the Congress or Principal Chief before that date.