The Knesset’s Tuesday session lasted about four and a half hours. Four bills were discussed. Two bills became law after passing their third readings, and two were advanced after passing their first readings. Two motions were discussed. The new laws prohibit repo companies from taking away blind people’s seeing eye dog welfare payments and settle disputes of public housing in cases of divorce. The bills advanced change semantics in the Nazi Persecution Bill and allow veterans to serve in reserve duty and not have that time count against them for their preferred jobs.

Non-Bills Summary

* 22 MKs spoke during the One Minute Speech segment that opened the day.

* House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced which disputed bills would be discussed in which committees.

* Nine MKs asked queries during a question hour with Deputy Health Minister Litzman (U.T.J.)

* MK Michaeli (Shas) announced the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee’s request to split a bill into two. It was approved 13-0.

* A motion on the cases of discrimination and racism against Ethiopian immigrants in Kiryat Malachi was discussed by 18 MKs.

* A motion on the planned evictions of homeless people from their tent cities was discussed by 7 MKs.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Prohibition of Taking Away a Blind Person’s Money for a Seeing Eye Dog Bill

Justice, Law and Constitution Committee Chairman Rotem (Y.B.) explained the amendment would prohibit repo men from taking away a blind person’s welfare payment of NIS 935 for maintaining their seeing eye dog. He said there are 7,000 blind people who receive the payment and all of them will be protected under the bill.

The bill passed its second reading 14-0.

The bill passed its third reading 16-0.

MK Khenin (Hadash) thanked the Knesset and the MKs for approving his bill. He stated that a blind person deserves to receive their welfare payment even if they don’t make any of their payments.

Amendment to the Public Housing Tenant’s Rights Bill

MK Ben Simon (Labor) explained that under the amendment if a couple who lives in public housing get divorced or separated, the housing assistance would be given to the parent with the most children and would not be split into two. He added the bill prohibits giving away the public housing in a custody or divorce battle.

The bill passed its second reading 13-0.

The bill passed its third reading 12-0.

MK Avraham Balila (Kadima) thanked the Knesset and MKs for supporting and approving her very important bill. She said this is another feminist bill coming out of the Women’s Right’s Committee and thanked the female MKs for fighting for women’s rights.

Amendment to the Social Security Bill

MK Bibi (Kadima) explained the amendment would extend the period of eligibility for a special grant for veteran soldiers who perform preferred work so that it doesn’t count against them when they serve in the reserves. He said that preferred work is nine months over the first two years of finishing service, but some people spend some of that time in the reserves, and his bill will make sure that time is not counted against their two years.

The bill passed its first reading 5-0 and was sent to the Welfare Committee.

Amendment to the Victims of Nazi Persecution Bill

MK Bielski (Kadima) explained his amendment is a matter of semantics and would replace terms used in the bill so that it would give victims of Nazi persecution more respect. He said his grandson, Lavi, will read in the official protocol in many years that only a few MKs stayed until the end of the evening to support his grandfather’s bill that saved the honor of victims of Nazi persecution. He whined for ten minutes asking why the other MKs didn’t stay for his bill.

The bill passed its first reading 7-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s January 17, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/00416212.doc

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