Four proposed Constitutional amendment questions related to the Osage Minerals Estate are the target of a proposed special election, which could be held in August, pending Congressional approval.
The Second Osage Nation Congress will consider a resolution for a special election during their 14th Special Session scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday (Jan. 20).
According to the special election resolution (ONCR 12-06 sponsored by Congressman Geoffrey Standing Bear), the Congress will authorize a special election for the four Constitution amendment questions (dealing with the Minerals Estate), which would be listed on the ballot. The special election has no set date, but the ON Election Board is recommending the special election take place Aug. 13 after the June 4 general election.
On June 4, Osage voters will head to the polls to elect six Osages to the six Congressional seats up for grabs and answer seven other non-Minerals-related questions on the same ballot.
The Election Board decided on its suggested Aug. 13 special election date during its Jan. 18 meeting to keep the Minerals-related questions separate from the other seven questions. The Election Board will make the special election date suggestion to the Congress, which will be up for discussion and action.
Congress previously approved the four Minerals Estate-related Constitutional amendment questions in resolutions ONCR 10-19, ONCR 11-12, ONCR 11-13 and ONCR 11-14.
The four proposed questions (pertaining to the Minerals Estate) to be presented to Osage voters are:
- ONCR 10-19 (sponsored by Congressman Raymond Red Corn) asks whether a Section 25 should be inserted into the Constitution under Article VI titled “Limitations of Legislative Power.” If passed, the proposed Section 25 would read:
“(Congress) shall not tax the Osage Minerals Estate, nor shall the (Congress) tax the production or transportation of materials extracted from the Osage Minerals Estate, nor shall the (Congress) appropriate Osage Minerals Estate funds. The (Congress) shall not tax Osage mineral royalties.”
- ONCR 11-12 (Standing Bear) asks voters whether Article VII, Section 5 should be amended to exclude the Nation’s legislative and executive branches and Osage Minerals Council from the Executive Branch’s composition. If passed, the section will read:
“The Executive Branch shall consist of the elected offices of Principal Chief and Assistant Principal Chief, and all departments, agencies, commissions, village committees, boards, trusts, authorities, and instrumentalities of the Osage Nation except those within the authority of the Osage Nation Congress, Osage Nation Judiciary or Osage Minerals Council.”
- ONCR 11-13 (Standing Bear) asks whether Article XIII, Section 2 (election laws) should be amended to exclude the OMC election from the Nation’s government election code. If passed, the amended section will read:
“(Congress) shall enact an election code governing all necessary election procedures, except for elections for the Osage Minerals Council. The (OMC) shall enact Resolution(s) governing all election procedures for the (OMC).”
- ONCR 11-14 (Standing Bear) calls for deleting and revising Article XV which is “Management of the Osage Minerals Estate by the Osage Minerals Council.” If passed, the new section would replace the exisiting section titled: “Natural Resources and Minerals Management.”
The proposed amended section contains five sections, which define the Osage Minerals Estate, lists its powers and office qualifications.
The first section defines the Minerals Estate as: “the oil, gas, coal and other minerals within the boundaries established by the Osage Allotment Act of 1906 (34 Stat, 539), as amended, are hereby designated the Osage Minerals Estate.”
The second section states the OMC is “vested with the sole authority to lease and develop the Osage Minerals Estate and to administer the duties previously granted to officers for the Osage Tribe by the (1906 Act), as amended provided, the right to receive income from the (Minerals Estate) may not be diminished. The Minerals Council shall be protected by the laws of the Osage Nation.”
The third fourth and fifth sections define the OMC composition of eight council members (elected by the shareholders) who must meet the following qualifications to serve on the OMC: be at least 18 years of age on election day; have a certificate of Osage blood by the United States; be a shareholder and are members of the Osage Nation or Osage Tribe. The OMC members are elected to four-year office terms during elections held the first Monday in June, which coincides with the Nation’s general elections also held that day.