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Sheetrit calls for MKs to begin working in earnest
By LAHAV HARKOV
02/20/2013
Yesh Atid lawmaker Hoffman supports shortening month-long Knesset Passover break, saying long break is inappropriate.
 
While new MKs are excitedly giving their inaugural speeches in the plenum, veteran lawmakers are itching to start real legislative work.

MK Meir Sheetrit (The Tzipi Livni Party), the longest-serving member of the current Knesset, petitioned temporary Knesset Speaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who has been a lawmaker for the most consecutive years of all MKs, to allow legislators to submit parliamentary questions and motions for the agenda.

“The most important thing is that the Knesset work and discuss current issues,” Sheetrit said on Monday. “It looks like it will take a long time for a new government to be formed, and in the meantime, the Knesset isn’t holding discussions.”

For the past two weeks, outgoing ministers have been summarizing time in office, and answering questions in the plenum. In addition, new MKs are giving their first-ever speeches. This is set to continue until a coalition is formed, after which permanent committees can be formed and bills can be brought to a vote.

Sheetrit suggested that ministers in the outgoing government, who will continue to serve until the coalition is formed, respond to motions to the agenda, and that MKs be allowed to give one-minute speeches.

Another possibility Sheetrit mentioned in his letter is only to allow motions that apply to the two temporary Knesset committees, Finance, and Foreign Affairs and Defense.

Meanwhile, at least one new MK realized that his work has not yet begun.

MK Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid) asked Ben-Eliezer to shorten the Knesset recess that is supposed to begin on March 20 and continue until April 22.

“I’m here to work. The citizens of Israel sent us to represent them, and it is not appropriate to go on such a long break before the Knesset begins its regular activity,” he wrote to the temporary Knesset Speaker.

Hoffman also pointed out that the Knesset will have to vote on a budget shortly after the recess ends, and the current schedule could make it difficult to hold a “serious, deep and organized discussion” on the proposed budget and its many implications.
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