Six Bills Tabled In The House On September 13

September 17, 2019 | 1 Comment

Six Bills were tabled in the House last Friday [Sept 13] including the Economic Development Amendment Bill, National Pension Scheme [Occupational Pensions] Amendment Bill, Tourism Investment Amendment Bill, Casino Gaming [Miscellaneous] Amendment Bill, Digital Asset Business Amendment Bill, and the Government Loans Amendment Bill.

“During the short summer recess, Ministers, technical officers and drafters have been focused on the work required to advance the Government’s agenda of rebuilding this economy to the benefit of Bermudians;” said Premier David Burt after Friday’s short session.“This has been an all-out effort to produce Bills that will deliver on the promises we made to the people of Bermuda.”

The Government said, “Among the Bills tabled, was the Government Loans Amendment Bill addressed by the Minister of Finance. This was not originally in the work stream for the summer but quickly became necessary and is of urgent, national importance.”

The Premier said: “The increase in the debt ceiling and the requirement to borrow additional money was not a part of our plan. We inherited this from the OBA Government and it is now our responsibility to fix the problem they created. In spite of all indicators and metrics to the contrary this Guarantee was signed and with the inability of the developers to now meet the loan demands, we are on the hook.”

In comments made Friday the Premier indicated that the Economic Development Bill would lay the foundation for economic activity and economic growth in the Island’s EEZs. “This is the kind of legislative action we were elected to take. This Bill will stimulate development and the kind of socio-economic growth we need in Bermuda, starting in the economic empowerment zones.”

“The remaining bills tabled address key and critical areas of importance to our people. Jobs, opportunities and stimulation of foreign direct investment. “With so many Bermudians out of work and seeking opportunities we simply must move on this legislation decisively and with urgency. Our people deserve nothing less.”

The Premier moved that the House adjourn until 27th September and indicated that the urgency of the work to be done may require additional sittings of the House.

He said, “Some of the Bills are complex and make significant systemic changes. They should be fully debated by both Houses and MPs and Senators will have that opportunity. In some cases there will be ongoing consultation and information sessions for the public and this makes for a healthy legislative and policy development process.

“I will be meeting with the Speaker and Leader of the Opposition next week to agree a timetable for any future sittings that may be required to deliver upon our mandate to build a better, fairer Bermuda,”

The Government added, “Additional items in train and soon to be tabled include:

  • Amendments to address the disenfranchisement of Bermudians by outdated immigration laws
  • Incorporated Segregated Accounts – a new business product
  • a reclassification of hemp
  • access to medical cannabis
  • the introduction of a new sub-optic marine cable regime for Bermuda

Noting Friday’s short session, the Premier observed: “There was a difference of opinion between the Government and the Speaker regarding the intent of today’s sitting of the House. However, I know the Speaker’s long career in politics demonstrates that we share a common goal: to do our best for the people we serve.

“The Speaker is a committed public servant and as his unanimous election as Speaker shows, he is held in high regard by both sides of the House. I fully anticipate a productive working relationship with him and his Office that will facilitate the change we were elected to bring become reality.”

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  1. 2Bermudaz 2bermudaz says:

    This:
    There was a difference of opinion between the Government and the Speaker regarding the intent of today’s sitting of the House. However, I know the Speaker’s long career in politics demonstrates that we share a common goal: to do our best for the people we serve.
    Yes there was – Burt wanted to add these bills to the order paper and asked to do so in a meeting just before the House was due to sit.
    Quite rightly the Speaker said no – Burt then used the 25-11 to over rule the Speaker in the House.
    Is this the kind of democracy we want? Sounds more like Boris Johnson to me!

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