Last Tuesday’s session lasted about two and a half hours. Three bills were discussed. Two bills became law after passing their third readings and one bill was advanced after passing its first reading. The new laws extend the government project of electronic surveillance for prisoners released on bail or probation and the practice of sending mandatory draftees to the police instead of the army as a cost saving measure. The bill advanced will prohibit the sale of mass school book bundles and enable single school book purchases. House Committee Chairman Levin announced ten changes to the Knesset Rules of Procedure that will take effect on October 31, 2011.
- 19 MKs and Minister Begin (Likud) participated in the One Minute Speech segment. The Boycott Bill was the main topic of discussion.
- House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Gal-On (Meretz) will be a permanent substitute in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and MK Kirshenbaum (Y.B.) will replace MK Rotem (Y.B.) in the House Committee.
- House Committee Chairman Levin announced he was bringing up ten amendments to the Knesset Rules of Procedure dealing with sponsoring bills, objections, continuity clauses and splitting bills. He thanked the faction managers for helping him by sharing their experience. MK Khenin (Hadash) and Minister Begin both spoke in favor of the changes. The amendments were approved by a single vote of 10-0.
- MK Plesner (Kadima) reported on the Knesset delegation to the European Union Council in Strasbourg.
- 5 MKs asked queries to Communications Minister Kahlon (Likud) during his question hour.
Temporary Provision on the Amendment to the Electronic Surveillance for Prisoners Released on Bail or Probation Bill
MK Michaeli (Shas) explained that the temporary provision will extend the trial electronic surveillance program for another six months. He said the extension is meant to give the police time to determine what they want to be included in the final version of the bill. He thanked the MKs in the room for being there to approve the bill.
The bill passed its second reading 6-0.
The bill passed its third reading 8-0 with Deputy Speaker Tibi abstaining.
Temporary Provision on the Amendment to the Defense Service Bill
MK Dichter (Kadima) explained the amendment would allow the police to continue recruiting mandatory service draftees in place of their military service. He announced that in 1986 mandatory draftees were first assigned police service by a temporary provision and since then that provision has been extended. He asked this time to extend the practice until the end of 2015. He said this provision allows the police to have additional manpower at a lower cost to their budget.
The bill passed its second reading 5-0 with Deputy Speaker Tibi abstaining.
The bill passed its third reading 9-0 with Deputy Speaker Tibi abstaining.
Amendment to the State Education Bill
MK Michaeli (Y.B.) explained the amendment would prohibit the selling of textbooks in packages. She said children reuse their older siblings’ books so if they only need a workbook there is no reason to force them to buy the whole package which would result in having multiple copies of textbooks.
MK Zeev (Shas) praised the ultra-orthodox system that does not follow the practice of bundling and expressed his support for the bill. He slammed those who try to delegitimize the ultra-orthodox education system.
MK Whbee (Kadima) supported the bill, which he stressed is an important step towards helping the poor. He went on to condemn the high price of school books in general and called on the government to lower prices or to offer free books.
The bill passed its first reading 13-0 and was sent to the Education Committee.