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Congress passes three bills, one resolution on Session Day 9

Bills for an Osage Nation census, an Election Code amendment, additional funding for the Grayhorse broadband grant audit and a resolution to implement or explore a recycling program for all ON facilities was approved by the 7th Osage Nation Congress

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


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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