Parliament meets today to complete process for St Catherine SOE extension

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Parliament will complete the legislative process for the extension of the current state of emergency (SOE) in the St Catherine North police division to January 2, when it meets at Gordon House this afternoon.

The final process should be a simple one, as there were no amendments arising from last Friday's debate which was approved on the basis of 19 of the 21 members of the Senate approving the extension, with two absentees from the voting.

A two-third majority of the membership of both Houses of Parliament is required for the approval of the extensions.This means that the absence of Government Senator Matthew Samuda, who was in Halifax, Canada for the G7 environmental meeting, and Opposition Senator KD Knight, who left Gordon House prior to the vote, but took part in the debate, made no difference to the outcome.

The extension of the St Catherine SOE becomes effective on October 3.

The House will also deal with a number of other resolutions including:

A private member's motion from Government Member of Parliament (MP) Heroy Clarke (Central St James), seeking to have the National Housing Trust (NHT) Act and regulations amended, to make the process feasible for low income earners to access NHT loans;

Opposition MP Ronald Thwaites private member's motion number three seeking to determine a policy for use of local produce in the school feeding programme, and number 47, seeking to have Parliament support establishment of a law school at the University of Technology (UTech);

Private Members Motions Numbers nine, 10, 11, 21, 22 and 26, seeking approval of the outstanding Reports of the Public Administration and Appropriation Committee (PAAC).

Prime Minister Andrew Holness will not be attending the sitting, as he is currently in the United States for bilateral talks with other leaders attending the 73rd session of the United Nations' General Assembly in New York City.

Balford Henry

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