Finance Committee Okays NIS 193m. elections budget

The Knesset Finance Committee Monday approved a total budget of NIS 193.7 million for the 2006 elections, representing an increase of NIS 19.4 million from the 2003 elections. Chairman of the Central Election committee, Justice Bainish, submitted a request for the proposed amount that will be used to fund the elections for the 17th Knesset. The proposal details recommendations to increase the budget for advertising by NIS 1 million, in addition to an increase of NIS 1.2 million for regional committee members' wages and NIS 2.4 million for the operation of computerized systems. Before the vote, Central Elections Committee's Tami Edri told the other members of the committee that without approval of this money, "the elections for the 17th Knesset will not go ahead." She was responding to questions about where the money would come from, given that the state budget for 2006 had not yet been finalized. Edri noted that the Treasury had already accounted for the transfer of the requested amount from the yet to be announced 2006 budget.