Congress passes several appropriation bills for FY 2019 operations and grants

The Sixth Osage Nation Congress is approving appropriation bills as the Tzi-Zho Session stretches through September after consideration.

As of Sept. 21, the following appropriation bills have received approval votes:

ONCA 18-34 (sponsored by Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) is a $25,000 appropriation 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.

ONCA 18-43 (sponsored by Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn) is a $1.7 million appropriation for the Nation’s Office of the Attorney General for its operations in the 2019 fiscal year.

ONCA 18-44 (Whitehorn) is a $551,737 appropriation bill for the Nation’s Judicial Branch operations in FY 2019. The budget includes $66,408 in federal grant funding and $485,329 in tribal funding from the general Treasury.

ONCA 18-46 (Whitehorn) is a $240,041 appropriation to the Osage Minerals Council for its occupancy and indirect costs for its office space at the Chambers building on the ON government campus.

ONCA 18-47 (Whitehorn) is a $483,962 appropriation bill for the Osage Press to fund the Osage News and its Editorial Board for its FY 2019 operations. In the bill, the newspaper’s 2019 operations budget totals $467,002 and the Editorial Board’s budget is $16,960.

ONCA 18-50 (Edwards) is a $50,000 appropriation bill of federal grant funding that is awarded to the ON Attorney General’s Office.

ONCA 18-51 (Whitehorn) is a $370,483 appropriation bill to award FY 2019 “merit pay to eligible Osage Nation merited employees” to carry out the purpose of the Nation’s Workforce Pay for Performance Act. Whitehorn said this bill contains the funding for merit pay for government employees in all three branches “for use by the Treasurer when (Human Resources) finishes evaluations” of all employees eligible for merit pay.

ONCA 18-54 (Edwards) is an $850,000 appropriation to pay expenses to accounting firm Baker Tilly and the debts identified by it as incurred on behalf of Osage LLC, its subsidiaries and Tallgrass Economic Development LLC. According to the bill, the $850,000 appropriation will come from the Retained Revenue Fund and will go toward Baker Tilly’s services in assessing the Nation’s LLC entities. The Nation engaged Baker Tilly’s services after passing a resolution to appoint an agent to examine the LLCs during the June special session of the Fifth ON Congress.

ONCA 18-56 (Congressional Speaker RJ Walker) is a $176,650 appropriation of federal grant funding awarded to the Osage Minerals Council from the Department of Interior’s Division of Energy and Mineral Development grant. According to the bill, the money will go toward “performing an oil and gas economic feasibility study to assess the potential benefits of the geologic characterization of the Minerals Estate, to gather and analyze oil and gas data on the Osage Nation Reservation to help the Nation manage their oil and gas resources, promote leasing and maximize their revenues for future production.”

ONCA 18-66 (Edwards) is to appropriate $47,122 in federal grant funding to the Judicial Branch, which comes from the Bureau of Indian Affairs - Office of Tribal Justice for Tribal Justice Support.

ONCA 18-67 (Edwards) is to appropriate $49,750 in separate federal grant funding to the Judicial Branch from the BIA’s Office of Tribal Justice. The grant funding in this appropriation bill will go toward funding a part-time courtroom bailiff and a new courtroom recording system, according to the bill.

For more information on sessions, filed legislation and Congressional committee meetings, visit the Legislative Branch website at: