Israel's coalition will not advance legislation connected to its judicial overhaul during the month of May even if talks at the President's Residence are unsuccessful, KAN reported senior coalition officials as saying on Thursday morning.
The Knesset returns from its Passover recess on April 30, and the national budget must pass by May 29. The coalition will not be able to promote both the judicial overhaul and the budget at once and will therefore focus first on passing the budget on time, according to the report.
The Jerusalem Post did not receive official confirmation that the report was correct. A source said that while the legislation is indeed unlikely to commence in May, an official decision on the matter has yet to be made and could change according to how events unfold.
According to Israeli law, if a budget does not pass on time, the Knesset disperses automatically and a new election is held.
The upcoming budget comprises a number of bills, chiefly among them the 2023 Budget Bill, the 2024 Budget Bill and the Economic Arrangements Bill, which incorporates government bills and legislative amendments that are needed in order for the government to fulfill its economic policy.
These and a few other supplementary bills passed their first reading on the Knesset floor on March 28. The Knesset's committees, spearheaded by the Knesset Finance Committee, will debate and approve the bills during the month of May for their second and third reading, after which they will become law.
The delay until after the budget passes seemingly gives more time for the coalition and opposition to negotiate the judicial overhaul at the President's Residence, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's initial decision was to hold negotiations only until the end of the Passover recess, and a number of ministers said that the legislation would resume immediately afterword.
The first and one of the most contentious bills in the judicial overhaul, which gives the coalition a majority in the Judicial Selections Committee, was approved by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on March 27, and only needs to pass its second and third readings on the Knesset floor in order to become law. Opposition Knesset members argued that the situation resembles negotiations being held at gunpoint. A delay until the end of May could also negate this claim and increase trust between the sides