Osage Congressional Revenue Advisory Commission meets for first time

The newly established Osage Nation Congressional Revenue Advisory Commission met for the first time on Dec. 30 at the Capitol Building in Pawhuska.

Established by the Nation’s amended Budget Control Act, the three-member commission is required to meet during the months of December, February and May of each year in preparation for the upcoming fiscal year. The law also charges the commission with approving revenue estimates prepared by the ON Tax Commission, business enterprises, the Nation’s accounting controller and any entity with anticipated revenue to the Nation for a given fiscal year.

The law states the Revenue Advisory Commission is comprised of the Congressional Speaker, chairman of the Congressional Appropriations Committee and the Legislative Branch’s staff budget analyst.

At the inaugural meeting, Congressional Speaker Joe Tillman and Congressman Eli Potts, current Appropriations Committee chair, were present to establish a quorum. As of Jan. 27, the budget analyst position is vacant following predecessor Meghan Snead’s departure in fall 2019.

Following Snead’s departure, the Congressional Affairs Committee advertised the budget analyst position and scheduled meetings in January and February to interview applicants to fill the position.

During the Dec. 30 meeting, Potts, who chaired the proceedings, said an election of officers would take place at the next meeting on Feb. 20. Afterward, Tillman made a motion to direct the appropriations chair (Potts) to communicate with the Tax Commission, business enterprises, controller, and any Nation entity with anticipated revenue “to range for the delivery of fiscal year 2020 estimates ahead of the Revenue Advisory Commission meeting to be held on Feb. 20.” The motion passed with two unanimous votes.

In a separate motion by Tillman, the Revenue Advisory Commission also approved directing Potts to “communicate with the Chief of the Osage Nation and the Treasurer to prepare revenue estimates for potential revenue failures resulting from gaming compact renewal complications with the State of Oklahoma, should the need arise after Jan. 1, 2020.” The motion also passed unanimously.

The law allows for emergency meetings of the Revenue Advisory Commission (subject to the Nation’s open meetings law) in the event of anticipated revenue failure. The Osage law definition of revenue failure is when “tribal revenue in the General Treasury falls below 98% of the Revenue Advisory Committee approved estimate.”

The law states that “revenue shall be communicated to the (Congress) on or before the first day of the proceeding Hun-Kah legislative session. The 2020 Hun-Kah Session starts its 24-day duration on Monday, March 30.

For more information on the ON Congress, Congressional committees and meetings, visit the Legislative Branch website at: