Government

Sixth ON Congress to meet for Aug. 24 special session

The Sixth Osage Nation Congress will convene for its second special session on Aug. 24 at the ON Capitol Building in Pawhuska.

This will be the first special session for the newly seated Congress to consider action on filed bills and resolutions. The Congress held its first special session the same day as the July 14 inauguration to elect officers and to form Congressional committees.

According to a legislative proclamation issued Aug. 8, the Congress will consider two resolutions that include:

- ONCR 18-17 (sponsored by Congresswoman Alice Goodfox): A resolution to authorize and approve execution of a “Fire Protection and Automated Response Agreement” with the City of Tulsa and to authorize a limited waiver of sovereign immunity from suit and a consent to jurisdiction.

The resolution comes as Osage Casinos prepare to open the new Tulsa casino and hotel property on Aug. 29 to the public. According to ONCR 18-17, the Nation “has been advised that the City of Tulsa offered to provide fire protection and automatic response to the (Tulsa Osage Casino Hotel and nearby casino administration buildings)… as a condition for fire protection and automated response… the Osage Nation will be required by agreement to provide a limited waiver of sovereign immunity” by consenting to the jurisdiction of Tulsa County District Court and consenting to the application of the city’s fire prevention code.

- ONCR 18-18 (Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn): A resolution to approve an updated 2019 fiscal year annual projected revenue figure. The Congress has received updated information from the Treasurer, Gaming Enterprise Board and the Tax Commission to update the projected revenue figure, according to the resolution.

The projected revenue figure is used during the budget process, which takes place during the Tzi-Zho Session in September ahead of the Nation’s fiscal year starting each Oct. 1. The annual budgets cannot pass the projected revenue amount per the 2006 Osage Constitution.

If passed, the Congress will set the FY 2019 projected revenue at $111.5 million, which includes a projected $45 million from gaming revenue and $2.3 million in Tax Commission revenue (i.e. vehicle tags, business license fees) and $25.9 million from non-tribal revenue including federal and state grant money awarded to tribal government entities.

The $111.5 million projected revenue figure also accounts for a projected $3.7 million from the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center, but that funding is restricted to health care costs. The $30 million permanent fund is also included despite no appropriations ever approved to come from the fund since its inception.

For more information on the Congressional special sessions or filed bills/ resolutions, visit www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch