The Eighth Osage Nation Congress met for its Sixth Special Session to consider legislation including six approved bills containing government budget modifications and supplemental budgets including grants for various entities.
Congress met for the special session starting June 29 with the six bills (all sponsored by Congresswoman Jodie Revard, who is the current chair of the Congressional Appropriations Committee) considered at the committee level before final votes. The appropriation bills are:
ONCA 23-66: An Act to amend ONCA 22-94 to provide appropriation modifications and supplemental appropriations to the Executive Branch in the amount of $1,627,503. Revard said the bill comprises current 2023 fiscal year appropriation requests with non-tribal (outside) funding from the Executive Branch.
Included in this budget is $85,575 from the USDA for Breastfeeding Peer Counseling within the WIC Department; the Nation’s Child Support Department is receiving $1,099,441 from the Office of Child Support Enforcement with movement required to align with the grant budget to reflect a 10% COLA increase issued at the beginning of FY23, Revard said.
Revard said the Wahzhazhe Early Learning Academies at Fairfax, Hominy, Pawhuska and Skiatook are receiving stabilization grant funds from the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services in the amount of $216,000 and will be divided among the four sites for classroom supplies and field trip opportunities. Revard said Law Enforcement (Police) is receiving an additional $54,490 in grant funding, so the budget will need amending to reflect the increase.
Revard said the Nation’s Department of Natural Resources and Education Department are each receiving $6,900 from the University of Missouri. “The New Beginnings project is a collaboration between the University of Missouri and the Nation to coordinate learning exchange activities related to Osage Ag and natural resources,” Revard told the committee.
ONCA 23-68: To provide an appropriation of non-tribal funds to the Executive Branch in the amount of $273,934. Revard said the bill is a new Tribal Energy Development Capacity grant to be used in coordination with the Osage Minerals Council. “It’s for the purpose of developing oil, gas and mineral codes, regulations and adopting tribal laws to establish tribal business structures for the benefit and protection of the Mineral Estate,” she said.
ONCA 23-69: An Act to amend ONCA 21-73 to provide an appropriation modification to the Executive Branch in Non-Tribal funds reducing the overall appropriation by the amount of $49,153. Revard said the bill authorizes spending for federal dollars in FY 2021 and pertains to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s UIC, which is the Underground Injection Control program. She said the $49,153 amount needs to be deobligated due to a re-budget request to carry over the funding into the next year’s budget in bill ONCA 23-70.
ONCA 23-70: To amend ONCA 21-95 to authorize an appropriation modification and a supplemental appropriation to the Executive Branch in non-Tribal funds reducing the overall amount by $99,807. Revard said the Nation received funding from the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences for the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity project that will be administered by the Nation’s Harvest Land with the project goal to improve Indigenous food systems and practices to promote healthy eating. “This appropriation deobligates $148,960 from the $272,920 appropriated in the Hun-Kah Session,” Revard said.
ONCA 23-71: An Act to amend ONCA 22-03 to provide a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $140,236. Revard said the bill pertains to American Rescue Plan Act funding that is also one-time Self-Governance money. She said the funding will be used to purchase emergency potable water or tank water. Acting Treasurer Tyler Mcintosh told the committee the funding will be managed by the Nation’s Emergency Management Office.
ONCA 23-72: An Act to amend ONCA 22-116 to provide supplemental appropriations to the Executive Branch in the amount of $2,413,525 of Non-Tribal funds. Revard said the Nation received $30,000 for FY 2023 for the Mobile Medical Unit and the grant funding comes from United Healthcare. She said the funding will be managed by the Si-Si A-Pe-Txa (health) board to provide medical services to Native families, as well as wellness education.
The Nation is receiving funding for a Money Follows the Person Tribal Initiative in the amount of $218,896, which is an elder care program with the funding to be used for Medicaid services to address health disparities affecting Osage and Native American elders living within the Osage Reservation, Revard said, adding this is the first year of a three-year grant and will be managed by the Si-Si A-Pe-Txa (health) board.
Revard said the Nation is receiving Special Diabetes Program funds in the amount of $370,918 and will be managed by the Diabetes Program with funding to be used for prevention and treatment activities. The Nation’s Prevention Program is receiving $400,000 for strategies to prevent substance abuse among Native American youth, she said. Also in the bill, the Nation’s Counseling Center is receiving and managing a $125,000 federal 988 Counseling Center grant, Revard said, adding the money will be used to bring 988 crisis care to the Osage Reservation.
Congress passed all six appropriation bills on July 11 during the special session.
For more Congressional information on sessions, committees and to view filed legislative bills/ resolutions, visit the Legislative Branch website at: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/legislative-branch