Summary of bills before the Knesset in the winter session: III. Bills passed into law
Over the winter session, 28 bills were voted into Law. Many of us heard about the Settlement Law, the Disengagement Law, The Prime Minister Incapacity Bill, The Der’i Law, the law revoking terrorist citizenship or residency, the Hametz Law, and the law giving Ben Gvir policy decisionmaking power over the police. What else made it through the legislature to the law statutes?
Eighteen of these were government bills, two were committee bills, and eight were private members’ bills. They are listed below in these categories and from earliest to latest bills passed.
As noted in my previous article, government bills are most often amendments recommended by bureaucrats in the various ministries. They often concern technical issues unrelated to political position of the government and therefore, when a bill passes the first reading but does not come up for a vote before new elections are called, the next Knesset, for the sake of stability, can vote to continue legislation from the second-third reading stage. Five of the following government bills were advanced under the Continuation Clause.
- The Settlement Bill: The Settlement Bill is a temporary measure renewable every five years. It brings the residents of Judea-Samaria under Israeli civil jurisdiction which allows them to receive the same rights and obligations as Israeli citizens living within the green line. This was the bill that Bibi and Smotrich threatened to vote against (Smotrich voting against himself as he lives in Judea-Samaria and against his own base) in order to bring down the Bennett-Lapid government, ending Bennett’s prime ministership one year early and forcing new elections. When a government falls before the bill’s deadline is up, the new government had three months to renew this law.
- Writ of Execution Authority (הוצאה לפועל) Law: Cancelling special arrangements put into effect during the Coronavirus pandemic
- Center for Collection of Fines, Fees and Expenses Law: Extending the trial period for tracking local authorities’ experiences with this service for a further four years because of the interruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic
- The Prison Act: the amendment requested an additional delay of four years before being required to carry out the second part of a programme for updating prison conditions and the expansion of criteria enabling early administrative release from prison for all but the most dangerous prisoners.
- Taxation Act: amendments related to the ability to track activities of those providing and using currency exchange services
- Mine Field Clearance Law: making temporary provisions permanent and adjusting authority and responsibilities after several years’ experience with the law
- Law regarding Special Authority to Deal with the New Coronavirus: distinguishes between emergency health situation and health situation requiring special attention and spheres of authority and responsibilities deriving from each situation
- Legislated under Continuation Clause. Law for Increased Effectiveness in Enforcement Supervision in Local Authorities, which means, having the community and police work together toward reducing violence and crimes that affect quality of living. The law has become permanent after the trial period in a number of places proved positive and more localities will be included. The law also made changes in operation based on experience to date.
- Security Services Law: Extending the trial period for placing soldiers with the police and in prisons during their compulsory services
- Under Continuation Clause: Law of Entry into Israel: Amendments that update what information about passengers entering and leaving Israel and who is authorized to see that information
- Second Authority Television and Radio Law: The amendment adds one year to the period of time alotted to small stations to prepare for the new regulations governing radio and television communications
- Security Services Law: temporary law allowing discharged soldiers to serve in the prison service
- Dairy Marketing Planning Law: amendments seeking to reduce the cost of dairy products to the consumer
- Insolvency and Financial Rehabilitation Law: extend the period of the time for delaying repayment of debts that arose during the Coronavirus pandemic as
- Under Continuation Clause: The Doctors’ Act: Delineates additional medical professionals allowed to carry out medical procedures in the patient’s home
- Criminal Procedure Law: Defining and deliniting identifying information between countries for individuals who stood trial or were convicted of serious crimes — the purpose is to prevent terrorism
- Under Continuation Clause: New Law: Authority to Collect Information on Passengers Entering and Leaving Israel
- Under Continuation Clause: Disabilities Law:amendments concerning compensation and rehabilitation
- Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee: expanded the number of MK’s that can take the place of those who are appointed to ministerial and deputy ministerial positions since they cannot engage in any legislative work in the Knesset (tabling bills, participating in committees). Nicknamed the Norwegian Law, the amendment changes the upper limit of the number of MK’s in large parties that can be replaced by those on the election list who did not make it into the Knesset from a maximum of five to up to one-third of the MK’s-turned-ministers-deputy-ministers.
- The Knesset Committee anchored in law changes to the organization of the various Knesset committees, creating new committees and redistributing tasks among the committees. Some of these changes are permanent and some are temporary.
Private members’ bills
Yoav Kisch and Itamar Ben Gvir became ministers after their bills were passed into law. If a bill is still going through the legislative process and an MK becomes a minister or deputy minister, his or her name is removed from the list of MK’s sponsoring the bill.
- Yoav Kisch and Hanoch Dov Milwidsky (Likud): for the purpose of government stability, this law returns the situation to the previous state in which a group of MK’s could split from their party after entering the Knesset only if the group constitutes one-third of the MK’s of the original party.
- Simcha Rotman (Religious Zionism), Moshe Arbel (Shas), and Nissim Vaturi (Likud): Two amendments that can be seen as Der’i Law I (Der’i Law II.is comprised of the override law which would, in its original version, allow the Supreme Court to knock down a law or disallow a government appointee only if the entire panel of judges agreed to that and that the decision was based on legal precident and not a determination of “reasonableness,” the argument used when the court ordered Netanyahu to remove Der’i from the ministries to which he had been appointed.) Der’i Law I has two parts: (a) to add two additional ministers (not deputy ministers) to the roster of ministers, thereby putting Der’i on standby awaiting the passing of the override law as two other MK’s stand in as acting ministers in the offices he was slated to hold (Health and Interior); and (b) adding the word, “active” to the term “prison sentence” in order to allow someone convicted but given a suspended sentence (as Der’i was regarding his last crime) to be qualified for the position of government minister. Deri’Law II — the override law — is a huge issue in the debate over judicial reforms and it is not taking place, not publicly in the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, but in President Herzog’s office, in secret.
- Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) tabled an amendment to the Police Act. The amendment sets the ultimate authority for policy in the police force with the minister of the ministry overseeing the police, in today’s government, the National Security Minister (Ben Gvir, himself) and not with the police commissioner.
- Thirty MK’s, including three Likud, 13 Yesh Atid, two National Unity, one Shas, three Religious Zionism, two Oztma Yehudit, and all six Yisrael Beitenu: Cancelling citizenship or residency of a terrorist receiving payment for committing terror
- Sixteen MK’s in coalition parties: Cancellation of the Disengagement Law
- Ofir Katz (Likud), Yinon Azoulay (Shas), Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism), Yitzhak Pindrus (UTJ), Yitzhak Kroizer (Otzma Yehudit): Basic Law: The Government — amendment that gives only the prime minister himself or a majority in the Knesset to claim incapacity of the prime minister for physical or mental health reasons only.
- Yosef Taieb, Uriel Busso, and Yinon Azoulay of Shas, and Moshe Gafni, Yisrael Eichler, Yaakov Asher, and Yitzhak Pindrus of UTJ: The “Hametz Law” which gives hospital directors the option to notify the public regarding forbidding bringing hametz into the hospital on the Passover holiday.
- Yitzhak Kroizer (Otzma Yehudit) plus all Yisrael Beitenu MK’s: Illegal Weapons Law — the amendments provide additional cause for conducting searches for illegal weapons
Feature image credit: צילום: איציק אדרי, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons