Government

Seventh ON Congress convenes for its first Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 8

The Seventh Osage Nation Congress will convene for its first Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 8 with the primary focus on considering and approving the 2021 fiscal year budgets for government operations.

Congress will consider filed legislative bills, resolutions and other matters brought to the Legislative Branch for review and action with the majority of the session focusing on the FY 2021 budgets for the Nation’s government operations. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and the 2021 fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Like with previous Congressional sessions since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Oklahoma in March 2020, the Tzi-Zho Session and Congressional committee meetings will be audio-recorded and live-streamed for the listening public.  The Congress voted unanimously during its August special session to suspend the Congressional rules to allow legislators to continue meeting by electronic means for scheduled interim meetings and the Tzi-Zho Session.

The Congressional Office and meeting area are closed to the public due to the pandemic and to allow physical distancing precautions among the staff and Congress members at work.

The regular sessions are limited to 24 days but may be extended up to three extra days at the written request of two-thirds of the 12-member Congress.

Throughout the session, Congress typically uses committee meetings to initially consider the budgets for the Nation’s three-branch government operations, entities, boards and commissions.

Budgets to be considered for the government branches include: the various Executive Branch departments/ programs; the Office of the Chiefs administration; the Legislative Branch and its respective Congressional Office operations; boards and commissions; cultural donations; the Attorney General’s Office, which operates independent of the three branches; and the Judicial Branch for the tribal courthouse operations.

Per the Osage Constitution, the Tzi-Zho Session is the second of two regular sessions mandated to be held annually. This will be the first regular session for the Seventh ON Congress since the June 2020 General Election when Osage voters elected three new legislators and re-elected three incumbents.

Once available, all legislative bills, resolutions, including appropriation/ budgetary bills, are on file with the Congressional Clerk’s Office and can be viewed/ downloaded from the Congressional website at: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch

Congressional committee meetings will also be held for initial consideration of board and commission member appointments subject to Congressional confirmation votes to serve full three-year terms.

Congressional meeting notices and agendas for sessions and committee meetings are posted online to the Legislative Branch calendar at: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/congress-legislative-branch/calendar

The session and committee meetings are public ones (excluding executive sessions allowed by Osage law to discuss confidential and proprietary matters) and will be live-streamed at: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/multimedia/live-media