The 2013 Congressional Hun-Kah Session will commence one week later than usual starting March 25 after the Third Osage Nation Congress unanimously passed a bill changing its start date.
During its third special session, the Congress unanimously passed ONCA 13-04 to amend the Hun-Kah Session start date from the third Monday to the fourth Monday each March.
Congressman John Free, sponsor of ONCA 13-04, addressed the bill. “As we know when we have session, a lot of people are involved besides Congress and staff, the Osage Nation directors, casino people, boards and commissions, so it affects a lot of people and spring break can be a time where families get together and plan events or vacations or just to do things together so it just scoots the start date back a week to the last Monday in March just to avoid conflict with the Hun-Kah Session.”
This is the first time the Congress has changed a regular 24-day Congressional session start date since the reformed government launched. The First ON Congress passed ONCA 06-12 which set the Hun-Kah Session start date for the third Monday each March and the Tzi-Zho Session start date for the first Tuesday following the Labor Day holiday each September.
Congressman John Maker asked if major changes would be needed in the Osage Constitution to make the start date change for the sessions. According to the Constitution, the Congress “shall convene twice annually in regular session, so that six (6) months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Congress and its first sitting in the next session.”
Free said he consulted with Congressional legal counsel on the bill and said the change would be OK “as long as we’re within the six-month deadline.”
The Constitution also states: “Regular sessions shall convene on such day and at such time as the Osage Nation Congress shall determine by law.”
The Congress passed the bill with a 12-0 vote and Principal Chief John Red Eagle signed the bill into law on Dec. 6.
School districts in Pawhuska, Hominy and Fairfax typically hold their week-long spring breaks during the third weekend in March with 2013’s spring break starting March 18 in those cities.
Original Publish Date: 2013-01-11 00:00:00