On Day 9 of the 2022 Hun-Kah Session, the Seventh Osage Nation Congress passed three bills and one resolution.
The legislative items are the first to receive votes while the 24-day legislative session continues. All four items will be sent to Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear for consideration of his signature to take effect.
On April 6, Congress passed the following legislative items:
ONCA 22-30 (sponsored by Congresswoman Alice Goodfox) is “An Act to require the Osage Nation to conduct a census of the people of the Osage Nation.”
Goodfox sponsored the bill seeking to learn more demographic information from the Osage membership who participate in the proposed census. She said it would be up to the Executive Branch on how the census would be rolled out, whether issued by paper or online forms, and gave a list of possible questions to ask the Osage public.
The bill passed unanimously with a 12-0 vote.
ONCA 22-32 (Goodfox) is “An Act to amend the Election Code to change the number of days effecting a vacancy from 180 to 270.”
Goodfox said she sponsored the election code amendment because in the event a special election is called to fill a Congressional vacancy, the Wahzhazhe Elections office would need time to prepare, which includes issuing public notices of the election and allowing the public to mark and submit absentee ballots. “When you take all those rules into play, a person would sign up to run for a seat they’re maybe going to hold for three months. And not only is that an issue, but we spend money on a special election to the tune of anywhere between $25-$30,000 for an individual to sit in a seat for three months. This amendment pushes (the date) back to nine months,” she said adding the change would give the successful candidate at least six months in a seat.
The bill passed 10-2 with “no” votes from Congress members Eli Potts and John Maker.
ONCA 22-49 (Congresswoman Pam Shaw) is “An Act to authorize and appropriate the amount of $11,000 to Osage LLC for the Grayhorse broadband grant audit.”
Congresswoman Paula Stabler said Osage LLC is operating to fulfill the federal grant awarded for the Grayhorse broadband project and although the LLC has funding, the entity is using its money for any business shortfall expenses per a recent board report to Congress. “it’s an obligation for the Nation to cover these grant expenses, so I encourage you to vote for it,” she said to Congress before the vote.
The bill passed 10-2 with “no” votes from Potts and Joe Tillman.
ONCR 20-20 (Potts) is “A Resolution to request the implementation of a recycling program for all Osage Nation facilities or to have a recycling program explored and findings reported.”
According to the resolution, the Nation currently does not participate in a recycling program across its facilities and proposes: “The Osage Nation, as a good community partner, should create a recycling program or at least explore the possibility of implementing a recycling program that would apply to all of its facilities.”
The resolution passed 12-0. For more information regarding ON Congressional sessions, filed legislation and Congressional committee meetings, visit the Legislative Branch website at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch