Pending legislation left up in the air by Israel Beiteinu's exit from coalition

As Israel Beiteinu officials withdrew from the coalition Wednesday, the faction's members began the grueling process of preparing their legislation for life in the opposition. Despite claims by party chairman Avigdor Lieberman that his party's MKs had passed significant legislation, most of the MKs' bills remained in first or preliminary reading stages, meaning they still need to pass through committee and into a second and third plenum reading before they can become law. The laws that the MKs had succeeded in creating were largely passed with the help of other coalition MKs, leading many Israel Beiteinu members to express concern for their legislation's future. "I have several bills that I am now concerned about. Without the support of the government, it's unlikely the plenum will pass these bills," said one Israel Beiteinu MK. While the coalition does not guarantee its support for any member bill, it often rallies behind legislature created by coalition partners. Various Israel Beitenu bills pending include a first reading on a bill by MK David Rotem to authorize several hundred additional rabbis to perform conversions; a second reading on a bill by MK Estherina Tartman that would force MKs to swear allegiance to the state when assuming office; and a first reading on a bill by MK Yisrael Hasson that would require local municipalities to pay for damage done by rocket attacks in southern Israel. MKs Stas Meseznikov and Shai Hermesh (Kadima) also created a law that allocates extra funds and reinforcements to communities in Gaza-periphery towns. Israel Beiteinu said Wednesday it would continue with its bill proposing governmental reform, even though it appeared they could not muster the necessary majority, said a party spokeswoman. The bill was a cornerstone of Lieberman's initial bid to join the government, but it has not made headway since he first presented it a year ago.