Yacimovich pans Economic Arrangements Bill

Labor leader complains to Knesset speaker that Economic Arrangements Bill is significantly longer than usual and many of its articles should be removed.

June 3, 2013 15:39
2 minute read.
Shelly Yacimovich at the President's residence, January 31, 2013.

Shelly Yacimovich at the President's residence 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Economic Arrangements Bill includes unconstitutional articles that do not fit within the budget, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said Monday.

The Labor leader wrote a letter on Monday complaining to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein that the Economic Arrangements Bill is significantly longer than usual and many of its articles should be removed.

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“Over the years, the attorney general and state comptroller criticized the legislation of the Economic Arrangements Bill, because it is hasty and insufficiently transparent, not allowing for appropriate public and parliamentary criticism,” she wrote.

The Economic Arrangements Bill is legislation passed alongside the budget meant to lay out the country’s economic policy in greater detail.

Yacimovich said the bill “undermines the sovereignty and the dignity of the Knesset as the institution elected by the public and subverts the democratic foundations of the legislative process.” The opposition leader wrote that she expects Edelstein to use his full authority to help shorten the bill.

According to Yacimovich, there are 27 articles out of 50 that have no direct connection to the budget and 129 of 175 amendments that should be separated from the Economic Arrangements Bill and passed as individual laws.

“The length of the Economic Arrangements Bill proposal is very unusual – 207 pages and 111 amendments,” she wrote.

“This harms the legislative process, the Knesset and democracy.”

The actual budget bill is 260 pages long with 36 chapters and 91 articles, which Yacimovich also said is excessively long, making it difficult for MKs to study and fully understand it before having to vote.

Among the sections in the Economic Arrangements Bill that the opposition leader says should be proposed as separate laws are increasing competition in the food industry, amendments dealing with media laws and others.

“Another example of a reform, which is good on its own but does not belong in the Economic Arrangements Bill, is in private medicine and appears in the health chapter [of the bill],” she wrote.

Last month, Edelstein told Finance Minister Yair Lapid that he is disappointed that, despite the Knesset Speaker’s requests to the contrary, the bill was longer than in 2011.

“The bill will not pass in its current incarnation,” Edelstein said. “It significantly harms the Knesset’s status. Our point of view is different when it comes to the law – I ask for everything not connected to the Economic Arrangements Law to be removed immediately.”

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