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Congress passes bill setting scholarship levels for 2016-2017 school year

On Day Eight of the 2016 Hun-Kah Session, the Fourth Osage Nation voted to pass a bill to set the higher education scholarship funding levels for the 2016-2017 school year.

The bill (ONCA 16-33 sponsored by Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) passed with a 9-3 vote and the bill now goes to Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear’s office for his consideration and action.

If the bill is signed into law, the following maximum annual amounts for scholarships are as follows: $4,200 for students attending associate (two-year) institutions; $8,000 for baccalaureate universities; $8,700 for research universities; and $8,000 for professional/ graduate students.

The bill passed amid debate and discussion on the constitutionality of whether the bill violated the separation of powers section of the Osage Constitution. During Congressional education committee discussions on the bill, the Executive Branch voiced concerns that the funding limits are unconstitutional.

“Yes” votes came from Congress members Archie Mason, John Maker, Angela Pratt, RJ Walker, Ron Shaw, Edwards, William “Kugee” Supernaw, John Jech and Congressional Speaker Maria Whitehorn. “No” votes came from James Norris, Alice Buffalohead and Otto Hamilton.

Edwards said the scholarship amounts in the bill would add up to the average amount the Nation spends each year on higher education scholarships available to all Osages, which is about $8.2 million.

For more information on the Hun-Kah Session, legislation and committee meetings, visit the Congressional website at: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch


By

Osage News


Original Publish Date: 2016-04-06 00:00:00

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Osage News Staffhttps://osagenews.org
As an independent news organization, we strive to report news and information with fairness and balance. While being the official news organization of the Osage Nation, we base our news judgements on our loyalties to our readers and Osage citizens, and we are not directly beholden to the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of the Osage Nation.
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