House To Expedite Passage Of 2016/17 National Budget
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, August 24 (LINA) - The House of Representatives has voted unanimously to sustain a motion calling for the body to expeditiously pass into law the 2016/2017 National Budget.
The motion made by Montserrado County Representative Edward Forh in the Joint Chamber of the Capitol on Tuesday, requested plenary to convene as a single committee and enact key legislations such as the 2016/17 budget in keeping with Rule 39 of the House Standing Rules.
Rule 39 of the House Standing Rules, referred to as "Discharge Petition," states that if a bill has been before a Standing Committee for thirty (30) days, any member of the House may issue a notification to discharge it.
If such notification is issued by a member of the House, according to the rule, the Chief Clerk should prepare a discharge petition for members to sign and that said list shall be read on the second session day after the issuance of the notification.
The rule says if a simple majority is obtained in favor of the discharge petition, the Speaker shall assign the bill on the next session day following reading of the list, but a discharge petition may cover only a single introduced measure and not multiple bills.
In his motion, Forh blamed the backlog of essential legislations to the ongoing rift within the House of Representatives, and encouraged the body to effectively perform its duties, and not to be distracted.
According to the House timetable, budget submission is done on May 1 and approved by June 30 each year.
The 2016/2017 budget, which is a little over US$555 million, was submitted by the Ministry of Finance on May 16.