Construction bill reaches final votes after 2 years (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 02/24/12)
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The Knesset Subcommittee on Reforming the Planning and Construction
Law finished its work after nearly two years, leaving MKs complaining
that the new bill is so long, they and the public will not have time
to review it before it is put to a vote.
The changes and objections to the Planning and Construction Law,
which were released on Thursday, are over 200 pages long and include
over 600 articles. The sections of the bill will be brought to votes
in the joint interior-economics subcommittee in six separate meetings
over the next two weeks before it is brought to the plenum for its
second and third (final) readings.
Some of the topics included in the lengthy bill include affordable
housing, institutions for authorizing planning and construction and
the process of planning new construction as well as penalties for not
following the new guidelines.
Interior committee and subcommittee chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) is
often the only MK meetings on the reform, which are conducted with
representatives of various government ministries.
After subcommittee members received the voting schedule on the bill
earlier this week, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who has said that the
reform serves the rich, complained that MKs were given only nine days
to learn the material and submit objections.
“This is not enough time to allow MKs and the public to discuss the
ramifications of the changes and react in a serious way,” he wrote in
a letter to Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon.
According to Horowitz, the short amount of time to submit objections
is for show and not a true attempt to hold a discussion.
“Is it right that such a small amount of time was given to public
representatives to react to a bill that is so controversial, so broad
and long, and has such major consequences on our society?” he asked.
Horowitz had yet to receive a response at press time.
In August, Horowitz complained that the reform blocks the public from
participating in the planning process and does not consider the
environment or allow for public housing.
“The reform in planning and construction mainly serves entrepreneurs
who want to make money quickly while making the public suffer,” he
said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 02/24/12)
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