Government , Business

Osage Congress passes appropriation bills for other entities

For the 2018 fiscal year, the Fifth Osage Nation Congress passed several appropriation bills for the government operations, which are not in the three major government branch appropriation bills.

The Congress considered and passed other appropriation (budget) bills for FY 2018 including the following:

- ONCA 17-100 (sponsored by Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn) is a $4.2 million appropriation bill for payment of the Master Campus Plan Loan. The bill authorizes the expenditure of funds held in a certificate of deposit (CD) to pay off the principal balance currently on the Master Campus Plan loan, which is $4,214,999.75, according to a Congressional fiscal analysis of the bill.

- ONCA 17-101 (Whitehorn) is a $1.6 million appropriation for the Nation’s Office of the Attorney General operations. The AG’s office is established as an independent entity by Osage law and the $1.6 million will go toward operation expenses including funding for an additional position and professional fees for water rights issues, ongoing Osage LLC case litigation, as well as Historic Preservation Office and wind farm case litigation and any unforeseen legal expenses.

- ONCA 17-103 is a $500,739 appropriation for the Osage Press entities, which are the Osage News and the newspaper’s Editorial Board. For the newspaper operations, the FY 2018 budget is $478,849 and the three-member Editorial Board’s budget is $21,890.

- ONCA 17-104 (Whitehorn) is the FY 2018 Cultural Donations Appropriations Act totaling $93,500 for various entities. Those entities and donations noted in the budget are: American Legion Auxillary ($5,000); The three Osage districts’ drumkeepers ($19,500 or $6,500 each); Osage Nation Princess Sorority ($5,000); Harold Bigheart Smalley American Legion Post 198 ($40,000); United States Marine Corps Osage Detachment ($10,000); Grayhorse War Mothers ($5,000); Hominy War Mothers ($5,000) and Native American Churches ($4,000).

- ONCA 17-105 (Whitehorn) is a $344,909 appropriation bill for ON government employee merit performance recognition bonuses. The money will come from tribal funding revenue ($165,984), as well as non-tribal revenue sources to be paid over the course of FY 2018, according to a Congressional fiscal analysis. There are nearly 450 Executive Branch employees and 10-15 employees in the Legislative and Judicial government branches.

- ONCA 17-108 (Congressman William “Kugee” Supernaw) is an appropriation bill to provide $1.5 million to the Bluestem Ranch LLC with the money coming from the Nation’s Economic Development Fund to support the ranch purposes.

- ONCA 17-115 (Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) is an $180,000 appropriation to the ON Foundation for administering and awarding donations and arts matching grants. 

- ONCA 17-118 (Whitehorn) is an act to transfer $1.5 million from the Nation’s General Fund Treasury into the Economic Development Fund.