Government

Bills and resolutions filed ahead of Nov. 28 Congressional special session

The Fifth Osage Nation Congress will consider several bills and resolutions during its third special session starting Nov. 28.

According to the Legislative Branch, the following filed Congressional bills and resolutions are filed for consideration:

ONCA 17-01 – (sponsored by Congressman RJ Walker) An act referred to as the “Trust Land Leasing Act” with its purpose “to restate with amendments the leasing procedures for business, economic development and public purposes on Osage Nation restricted and trust lands as authorized by the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012 (HEARTH Act).”

ONCA 17-02 - (Congressman William “Kugee” Supernaw) An appropriation bill to authorize and distribute $1 million to Tallgrass Economic Development LLC. If approved, Tallgrass would receive the $1 million from the Nation’s economic development fund for the purpose of securing bonding.

ONCA 17-03 – (Congresswoman Alice Buffalohead) A $4,000 appropriation bill to authorize and appropriate the money to the Executive Branch for the 2017 Osage Sovereignty Day activities. The ON government has celebrated Osage Sovereignty Day each March to commemorate the reformed government and Osage Constitution approved by voters in 2006. Past year events have included a Sovereignty Day Dance at the Osage County Fairgrounds.

Other recent filings include:

ONCR 17-02 - (Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) A resolution authorizing the Principal Chief to sign a lease of the Bluestem Ranch to the Bluestem Ranch LLC board in accordance with the board’s annual plan of operations for the 2017 fiscal year.

ONCR 17-03 – (Buffalohead) A resolution for an election ballot question asking Osage voters to amend Article XI, Section 3 of the Osage Constitution regarding a citizen petition and referendum. The resolution makes it easier for Osages to petition for initiative or referendum.

If approved by Congressional vote, the ballot question in this resolution will ask Osage voters to amend the Constitution to state: “After certification of the application (for a petition or referendum), a petition containing a summary of the subject matter shall be prepared by the person authorized by Osage law to do so for circulation by the sponsors. If signed by qualified Osage voters who are equal in number to at least 25 percent of voters placing votes in the preceding general election in which the Office of the Principal Chief was on the ballot, it may be filed.”

The current Constitution specifies that number as “at least 15 percent of the electorate.”

ONCR 17-04 – (Buffalohead) A resolution for an election ballot question asking Osage voters to amend Article XI, Section 8 of the Constitution regarding recalls. The resolution makes it easier for Osages to do a recall petition.

If approved by Congressional vote, the ballot question in this resolution will ask Osage voters to amend the Constitution to state: “All elected and/ or appointed officials of the (Nation) are subject to recall by the Osage voters… a recall petition must be signed by qualified Osage voters who are equal in number to at least 25 percent of voters placing votes in the preceding general election in which the Office of the Principal Chief was on the ballot.

The current Constitution also specifies that number as “at least 15 percent of the electorate.”

ONCR 17-05 – (Buffalohead) A resolution for an election ballot question asking Osage voters to amend Article XX, Section 2 of the Constitution regarding amendments to the Osage Constitution by petition. The resolution makes it easier for Osages to petition for amendments to the Constitution.

If approved by Congressional vote, the ballot question in this resolution will ask Osage voters to amend the Constitution to state: “Amendments may be proposed to this Constitution by petition of the qualified voters of the Osage Nation… Every petition shall include the full text of the proposed amendment, and must be signed by qualified Osage voters who are equal in number to at least 25 percent of voters placing votes in the preceding general election in which the Office of the Principal Chief was on the ballot.”

The current Constitution specifies that number as just “25 percent of the electorate.”

ONCR 17-06 – (Buffalohead) A resolution for an election ballot question asking Osage voters to amend Article XX, Section 1 of the Constitution regarding amendments to the Osage Constitution by Osage legislature vote. The resolution lowers the number of Congress members needed to propose amendments to the Constitution, making it easier.

If approved by Congressional vote, the ballot question in this resolution will ask Osage voters to amend the Constitution to state: “Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Osage Nation Congress. Proposed Amendments agreed to by three-fourths or nine (Congressional) members shall be put before the Osage People for their approval or rejection at the next general election, except when the (Congress) shall order a special election for that purpose.”

The current section of the Constitution requires five-sixths (ten Congress member votes) of the legislature to send a proposed Constitution amendment question to the voter ballot.

For more information on the Congressional sessions or to view filed legislation go online to: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch