Yuli Edelstein370 .
(photo credit: Knesset Spokesman’s Office)
The Economic Arrangements bill shrank to a third of its original length after
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein negotiated with Finance Ministry representatives
on Wednesday to ensure the legislative process is respected.
citizens of Israel must learn that the legislature passes laws and is not a
group of people who vote for a bill without studying it in depth,” Edelstein
said. “MKs are not marionettes.”
The Economic Arrangements bill is
legislation passed alongside the state budget meant to lay out the government’s
economic policy in greater detail. The bill tends to be lengthy and often
includes articles that are not related to the budget.
The Knesset Speaker
sought to remove all sections that were not connected to the budget and make
them separate legislation.
“MKs need enough time to discuss every bill in
the different committees,” he said. “My goal was to preserve the integrity of
the Knesset, its legislative process and its members, and that is what I
Edelstein commended the Finance Ministry representatives for
conducting negotiations fairly and without running to the media with “sob
Edelstein, coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu),
Knesset House Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud Beytenu) and the Knesset
legal department negotiated the removal of two-thirds of the bill’s articles,
specifically those that were not related to the budget and economic growth and
those that canceled or delayed the implementation of laws.
measures dealing with digital television receivers, tax exemptions for
agriculture, and installing traffic cameras.
They also canceled articles
that cannot be properly discussed in the Knesset’s committees in the short time
left before the budget and the Economic Arrangements bill have to be passed, by
However, Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon pointed out that the
bill was still longer than usual and included fiscal legislation, as well as
structural reforms in water corporations and the communications
Articles defunding “recognized but unofficial schools,” which
includes the Shas school system, and requiring both spouses to work to get
certain benefits remained in the bill, despite opposition from the Knesset
“I think these are ideological matters and should not be in
the framework of the Economic Arrangements bill.
Still, the finance
minister thought differently and did not hide that this is an important issue
for him,” Edelstein said.
“I don’t have delusions of grandeur and don’t
think everything is worked out and we just need to vote,” the Knesset speaker
added. “Now there’ll be battles in the committees.”
Edelstein emphasized, he did not let the bill escape thorough discussion in the
Knesset or disrupt the legislative process.
Earlier this week, opposition
leader Shelly Yacimovich wrote Edelstein a letter lamenting the Economic
Arrangements Bill’s length – 207 pages and 111 articles.
“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,” Yacimovich said.