With the Knesset expected to be dissolved next week ahead of early elections on
January 22, dozens of bills will not become law unless MKs propose similar
legislation in the 19th Knesset.
One bill that made headlines recently is
the proposal to extend daylight-savings time. DST was last dealt with in
a Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee meeting in late February,
which ended without any progress on two private bills and a ministerial bill on
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) – who proposed one of the private
bills – and associates of Interior Minister Eli Yishai have placed the blame on
each other. Horowitz says the Shas leader wants to keep DST short for religious
reasons, while those close to Yishai say the bill has been stuck since February
for technical reasons. Yishai planned to pass the bill in the Knesset’s
winter session, but as it is not scheduled for a vote next week, he won’t be
Another bill that has been stuck for months and is a target of
Shas-Meretz bickering is a reform of the Planning and Construction Law. In
February, Amnon Cohen (Shas), chairman of the Knesset Internal Affairs and
Environment Committee, finished two years of work on preparing the legislation,
which is 200 pages and 600 articles long. Horowitz has complained that the bill
does not give enough attention to environmental considerations, and wrote to
Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon in February that MKs were not given enough time
to review the legislation before the committee vote.
A bill criminalizing
prostitution by Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), chairwoman of the Knesset Subcommittee to
Battle Trafficking of Women, passed a preliminary plenum reading in February.
The legislation would make paying for sexual services a criminal offense, but
has been stuck in the Knesset House Committee since the beginning of this year,
where it is supposed to be decided which committee would continue
The “Tzohar Bill,” which allows couples to register for
marriage in any municipality, regardless of where they reside, is scheduled to
be discussed in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee this week,
but its chances of being brought to a final plenum vote is slim. Two similar
bills, proposed by MKs Faina Kirschenbaum (Yisrael Beytenu) and Otniel Schneller
(Kadima), would make it easier for Tzohar, an organization of national-
religious rabbis that is considered liberal, to perform weddings.
Hayehudi MK Zevulun Orlev’s legislation requiring government supervision and
licensing of daycare centers for children from infancy to age three is also
stuck in committee.
The bill is meant to ensure appropriate conditions
and an educational environment that will fulfill the children’s physical,
emotional, social and educational needs. The bill has yet to be brought to a
second and third (final) Knesset reading, after Yisrael Beytenu expressed
concerns that it would raise childcare prices. Industry, Trade and Labor
Minister Shalom Simhon (Independence) froze the legislation in March.
Culture and Sport Ministry bill meant to protect authors’ royalties will be
brought to the Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee on Monday morning
to be prepared for its second and third readings, but it is still unclear if the
bill will reach its final plenum votes.
Culture and Sport Minister Limor
Livnat proposed the legislation to increase authors’ income while working
towards breaking the duopoly in which the Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim
bookstores make up 80 percent of the market. The bill would require stores to
sell books at full price for the first 18 months after publication.