‘Lapid Bill 2’ passes hurdle in Knesset

Legislation would force aspiring politicians to report campaign finances before officially forming a party.

Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390 (photo credit: Ezra Levi)
Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390
(photo credit: Ezra Levi)
Television personality-turned- politician Yair Lapid will not be forced to form a party, but he is likely to have to reveal his campaign finances, as the so-called “Lapid Bill 2” passed another hurdle in the Knesset on Tuesday when the House Committee approved it for its first plenum reading.
The bill, proposed by House Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) and MKs Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Daniel Ben- Simon (Labor), would require any person or group that declares “in writing or in speech, clearly or through behavior,” an intention to run for a Knesset seat without joining an existing party to follow campaign finance laws and report all donations and income.
Originally the legislation required aspiring MKs to join or declare a party within two weeks of publicly declaring their intention to run for politics.
However, during Tuesday’s meeting, Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon explained that there were constitutional difficulties with the bill’s text, and Levin made the changes immediately.
The committee chairman explained that the new version of the bill served the same purpose as the original proposal, to ensure that all Knesset candidates’ finances would be transparent and reported to the state comptroller.
The five MKs in the House Committee meeting unanimously approved the legislation.
In order to become law, the bill will have to pass its first plenum reading, which is likely to take place next week. It will then go back to the committee for further examination and changes, and then come to a second and third (final) vote in the plenum.
Last week, after the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill, Lapid slammed it on his Facebook page.
“It is nice that so many old-school politicians decided to get together and prove to the public that everything I have been saying about them is right,” Lapid wrote. “It is one thing to be a coward, but another to be shameless. They could at least hide their fear.”
The nickname “Lapid Bill 2” refers to the first “Lapid Bill,” which required a cooling- off period for journalists before entering politics.
The legislation was frozen after Lapid announced he was running for the Knesset in January.