Spencer wants more time to examine bills

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Leader of the Opposition Baldwin Spencer has deemed the time given to parliamentarians to peruse standing orders and bills as insufficient.
The St John’s Rural West MP said this was not his first appeal but a stronger approach to distribution practices is necessary as it would benefit both sides of the house.
“We have situations where these bills are presented to you three days before the actual debate and then you are required to come here and pass the bill,” Spencer said.
He said this delayed handing over has created an environment in which bills requiring deeper analysis are overlooked.
“Not only the opposition, even members on the government side must be given an opportunity no matter how it would appear simple that the issue is.”
Yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition told the Speaker of the House that laws passed in the Lower House of Parliament impacted the public “directly and indirectly, one way or the other” and so external members should be a part of the process.
The Speaker of the House, Sir Gerald Watt QC, agreed with Spencer and recommended the use of expert committees to join the parliamentary sittings to assist in making informed decisions.
“There is danger in passing bills and rushing them and then having to come back four years to do it again,” Sir Gerald said.
Spencer further explained the dilemma at yesterday’s sitting and said the MPs received an order paper for 15 and 16 bills and in his estimation, this is “becoming a great concern and the norm”.
He was adamant that his interjection was not an attempt to slow the Gaston Browne administration in advancing any legislation.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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