Monday’s session lasted a little over four hours, and the opposition spent about two and a half of those hours unsuccessfully trying to bring down the government. The Knesset spent the rest of the day discussing seven bills, passing three in their third readings and four in their first readings. Most of the bills passed were ones that had been pulled out of the Arrangements Bill. The highlights were a public transportation smartcard bill and a bill that would prevent the army from firing women who are pregnant or on maternity leave.

Non-Bills Summary

  • Kadima’s no confidence motion titled “Netanyahu’s budget promotes anti-socialism and lays the groundwork for greasing the coalition partners at the expense of students, the public sector workers and young couples” was defeated by a 30-63 vote, with 27 MKs not present.
  • The three Israeli Arab parties’ no confidence motion titled “Racist legislation and its impact on democracy and the relationship between Arabs and Jews” was defeated by a 10-65 vote, with 15 abstaining and 30 MKs not present.
  • Speaker Rivlin called for a minute of silence in honor of former Labor Minister Katz (Minister from 1977 to 1982) and eulogized the man who passed away on Saturday.
  • House Committee Chairman MK Levin (Likud) announced that MK Orlev (J.H.) will replace MK Orbach (J.H.) in the Childs Rights Committee.
  • The government transferred authority of all issues regarding forests from Agriculture Minister Simhon (Labor) to Labor and Welfare Minister Herzog (Labor) by a Knesset vote of 11-0.
  • The Justice Committee exercised the continuity clause on a previous bill by a 9-0 vote.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance

Funds Committee Chairman Gafni (U.T.J.) explained that this bill was originally part of the Arrangements Bill and had been taken out and discussed in the committee. The amendment places a three month time limit on employers who are submitting 126 and 856 forms, instead of the current four month time limit, beginning in 2013. MK Gafni explained that as part of the Arrangements Bill this amendment was three sentences long, and after the committee discussion it is three and a half pages long. He noted that because of the committee discussion and compromises reached the opposition supports the bill. Speaker Rivlin thanked MK Gafni for taking this bill out of the Arrangements Bill and noted that this way the bill would take effect sooner.

The bill passed its second reading 49-0 and passed its third reading 48-0.

Amendment to the National Insurance Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz (Likud) explained that this amendment was also part of the Arrangements Bill and instead was discussed in the committee. MK Katz explained that the amendment demands that any citizen who is receiving a government payment must inform the government of any change that would no longer entitle them to government payments within thirty days. The amendment would assess a 40,000 NIS fine to those who fake information in order to receive government payments, and repeated offenders would be assessed an 80,000 NIS fine. He explained that the committee decided that notices and warnings must be sent to the citizen before he is charged with a crime that would result in a fine. The committee also decided that this bill will not include citizens who have mental disabilities or the elderly. The committee also allowed an extension from thirty to sixty days for most cases. MK Katz thanked Minister Herzog for helping with this bill. Speaker Rivlin thanked MK Katz for successfully taking this bill out of the Arrangements Bill.

MK Ghilon (Meretz) congratulated the National Insurance executives, who are mostly female. He explained that he objects that there would be no difference between people who accidentally filled out the form incorrectly and those who do so purposely. He explained he also objects to the idea that repeated offenders might be placed in prison for this violation. Ghilon also charged that more people are ripped off by the national insurance than rip the national insurance off. In response to the MKs who were ignoring his speech, he exposed that he was also on Ritalin as a kid, so he understands. He noted a case of a blind female solider that lost her government payments because the national insurance says she can work now. He concluded that he was saddened that most people who are eligible are oblivious to that fact.

MK Ilatov (Y.B.) explained that he and MK Levy-Abekasis (Y.B.) object to the idea that people who violate this law should be sent to jail.

MK Zeev (Shas) also objected to the idea that offenders of this law should be sent to jail.

The bill’s paragraphs passed their second readings 38-1, 38-1, 39-1, 37-1, 34-1 and 32-1, after accepting MK Ilatov’s objections 39-0, 41-0, 39-0, 38-0 and 36-0, while rejecting MK Ghilon’s objections 2-37, 6-35 and 4-30.

The bill passed its third reading 32-1.

Career Service in the Army – the Israel Defense Forces Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz explained that his original bill, co-sponsored by MK Regev (Likud), would prevent the army from firing female soldiers who are pregnant or on maternity leave. It was revealed by the General of Human Resources that 50% of women who were fired from the army were done so due to pregnancy or maternity leave.

MK Regev (Likud) thanked Chairman Katz and expressed frustration that it took a full year to pass this bill. She attacked the I.D.F., who objected to the bill, and praised Defense Minister Barak (Labor) for overruling them.

The bill passed its second reading 15-0 and its third reading 15-0.

Amendment to the ‘Increased Enforcement in the Capital Market’ Bill

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) explained that the amendment would give inspectors the authority to seize private documents and arrest non-licensed workers.

The bill passed its first reading 13-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

Amendment to the ‘Maintaining Public Safety and Streamlining the Enforcement’ Bill

Minister Begin (Likud) explained his amendment would create a forfeiture authority inspection. It would also provide greater authority to employees of the police department who are not policemen, such as traffic inspectors.

The bill passed its first reading 14-0 and it was sent to the House Committee to decide which Knesset committee would discuss it.

Amendment to the Traffic Ordinance Bill

Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) explained that this bill was taken out of the Arrangements Bill. He explained that the amendment would allow passengers of public transportation to have a smart card that would apply for all the different companies. He explained this would allow someone to take a train to a bus to a light rail, all on the same smart card.

The bill passed its first reading 13-0 and was sent to the House Committee to decide which Knesset committee would discuss it.

Amendment to the Execution Bill

Minister Begin explained that his amendment would delay certain aspects of the Execution Bill from being carried out for another six months.

MK Rotem (Y.B.) noted that he had a bad feeling about this bill and something didn’t smell right.

The bill passed its first reading 10-0, and Deputy Speaker Majadele (Labor) added MK Rotem’s vote (even though he did not vote) to make it 11-0. The bill was sent to the Justice Committee.

Advertisements