Parliament to decide on 45 draft laws by Oct. 10

PHILIPSBURG--Parliament has a heavy workload ahead when the recess ends in August, because in addition to its regular work, there are a number of draft laws and amendments from the former Netherlands Antilles that have to be handled by October 10.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday that Parliament has to decide which of the some 45 draft laws and amendments passed on it will take up at the stage they are currently in.
A total of 65 draft laws and amendments in various stages were passed on to the government. Of those, 20 have been deemed no longer relevant, while 25 of the remaining 45 are related to the Civil Code, according to the prime minister.

The draft Media Law, which falls under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, is among the pieces of legislation to be handled.

"Does the Parliament wish to take this into consideration for further handling? This question would have to be handled by Parliament and it needs to be decided before October 10," Wescot-Williams said during Wednesday's Council of Ministers Press Conference.

Also pending is the draft law related to telecommunication, which falls under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Tourism and Telecommunication.

The dossier passed on from the "Antillean regime" includes several draft initiative laws tabled by former Netherlands Antilles Members of Parliament. "The Parliament of St. Maarten needs to decide whether they will take up and continue the handling of any draft initiative that was there on the books."

A list of the laws that have to be handled by October 10 has been forwarded to Parliament.
Meanwhile, government has been making preparations for the proper publication of laws and resolutions. The National Resolution on the Publication of Laws has been sent to Governor Eugene Holiday for review and signature. The signature of the prime minister will also be needed for the resolution to take effect.

Based on the organic law governing this issue, the national resolution has already been vetted by the Advisory Council, said Wescot-Williams.

This resolution is extremely important, as it gives the guidelines and format for the law publication sheet and the to-be-established National Gazette. In order for a law or a resolution to take effect, it must be published in the proper manner.

This national resolution has to undergo the same procedure as the national ordinance; the big difference is that the resolution is passed by the Council of Ministers and not Parliament.

(Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten)

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