Government

Osage Congress to meet for special session starting Oct. 20

The Seventh Osage Nation Congress will convene for its 11th Special Session starting Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.

On Oct. 4, the Congressional Office filed a legislative proclamation with eight Congress members signing the document and calling themselves to convene for the special session. The 12-member Congress will consider legislative items for appropriations with American Rescue Plan Act funds and two legislative bills, according to the proclamation.

According to the Osage Constitution, special sessions may be called by legislative proclamation at the written request of two-thirds of the Congress members and may last up to 10 days. Otherwise, sessions may be adjourned sooner once all session business items are deemed complete.

In addition to appropriation of ARPA funding distributed to the Nation, the Congress will also consider the two election-related legislative items, which are:

-        ONCA 21-119 (sponsored by Congresswoman Alice Goodfox) is an act to amend the Nation’s Election Code to amend the certification of candidates. According to the bill, the added language includes term limits for both the Executive and Legislative Branch elected offices approved by Osage voters in the 2020 General Election. Another proposed revision includes candidates who are disqualified to hold office of honor, trust or profit. This would pertain to individuals who previously held elected office and were removed by Congressional vote through its removal proceedings.

In the last election, voters passed a Constitutional amendment question (ONCR 18-20) which places limits of five office terms on Osage officials who are elected, appointed and retained by election in all three branches. That question passed with 75.38% (1,846 voters) of Osages voting “yes” and 22.21% (544 voters) “no” votes.

If ONCA 21-119 is passed by Congress, the election code will be updated to state that (Executive and Legislative Branch) candidates shall not be certified as a candidate for office if the candidate: has been convicted of a felony; is disqualified to hold and enjoy office of trust, honor or profit by a judgment in a removal trial; has served five full terms (20 years) plus any initial partial term fulfilled as the result of a vacancy.

-        ONCR 21-20 (Goodfox) is a resolution to approve the Election Board’s rules and regulations governing elections in accordance with the Nation’s Election Code. The Election Board will submit and discuss its proposed amendments to the rules and regulations for Congressional consideration.

For more information on voting, absentee ballot requests or address updates for voters, visit the Wahzhazhe Elections website at: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/elections

For more information regarding ON Congressional regular or special sessions, filed legislation and Congressional committee meetings, visit the Legislative Branch website at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch