Government

ON Congress passes several bills during Hun-Kah Session

With the final week of the 2018 Hun-Kah Session in progress, the Fifth Osage Nation Congress passed several pieces of legislation before the 24-day session ends.

The Congress adjourned their spring session on April 19. Those bills and resolutions passing will go to the Executive Branch for signature consideration from Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. Passed bills/ resolutions include:

- ONCA 17-66 (sponsored by Congresswoman Alice Goodfox) is a bill to increase the annual maximum payment to associate ON Trial Court judges for research and writing work to $24,000 from $10,000. The bill will amend a previous law (ONCA 14-39) that sets the annual salary and expense allowances for the elected officials in the executive and legislative branches, as well as judges in the Judicial Branch. 

- ONCA 17-92 (Goodfox) is a bill to amend the definition of a national emergency for the Nation in the Congressional special session law. According to the amended law, the Principal Chief or Congressional Speaker may declare a national emergency and waive the 10-day session notice for a special session for purposes that include: “a state of emergency causing a disruption in services from the Burial Assistance Fund, the Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarship Fund, or the Health Benefit Plan Fund.”

- ONCA 17-121 (Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) is a bill to amend the Osage law establishing the Nation’s merit-based employment system. According to the bill, this law is renamed the “Osage Nation Merit Based Employment System Act” to replace the old “Workforce Pay for Performance Act.” The bill includes new law sections “to clarify the law is intended to satisfy the Osage Constitutional mandates for the Congress to establish a merit principled system of employment; to authorize the Department of Human Resources of the Osage Nation to implement the system; to include a grievance procedure and exhaustion requirement prior to seeking review in the Trial Court.”    

- ONCA 18-04 (Edwards) is an appropriation bill to provide a $134,750 appropriation to the Osage Minerals Council for the current 2018 fiscal year. According to a fiscal analysis, the money will come from the general treasury and will be used for occupancy and indirect costs for its office space in the Chambers building on the ON government campus.

- ONCA 18-07 (Congressional Speaker Angela Pratt) is a $202,137 supplemental appropriation to the ON Wildland Fire Management Department for updated communication equipment. The money will come from the Nation’s general treasury.

- ONCA 18-08 (Congressman RJ Walker) is a $30,000 appropriation bill to replenish the Nation’s Regional Gathering Fund, which provides available funding to Osage organizations who apply for the funding to offset regional gathering event costs. The funding comes from the general treasury and will be placed in the revolving Regional Gathering Fund for subsequent fiscal years, according to a fiscal analysis.

ONCA 18-09 (Pratt) is a $268,458 supplemental appropriation bill for the Nation’s Willow Tree Residential Treatment Centers for operational costs and staffing for the ON Primary Residential Treatment (PRT) facilities that serve clients recovering from alcohol and substance abuse. According to a fiscal analysis, the appropriation will cover four months of operating costs for the women’s newly built PRT facility and five months of operations for the men’s facility, including new furniture for the buildings and the money will come from the general treasury.

ONCA 18-17 (Congresswoman Alice Goodfox) is “an act to authorize victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to have confidential addresses acknowledged and utilized by the (ON) so they can still receive (tribal government) services.”

ONCA 18-18 (Goodfox) is an act "to amend the criminal code to strengthen the language and increase penalties for violence and domestic violence crimes authorized by the (federal) Violence Against Women Act and the Indian Civil Rights Act."