Government Legislation Programme Summer 2016
Foreword by the Government Chief Whip
This is the first Government Legislative Programme of a new Partnership Government. We are the first minority Government in Ireland in almost thirty years and as such we will work in partnership with all those elected to the Oireachtas on a range of legislation that will come before the Dáil and Seanad over the years ahead. The cross party Dáil Reform Committee has published a Report recommending a number of reforms that will provide new structures to allow the Executive and the Parliament work in partnership.
This Programme sets out the legislation that we as a Government will seek to publish over the next few months to start to fulfil the commitments made in the "Programme for a Partnership Government" to address the problems we face as a Nation. The last Government introduced a number of far reaching Oireachtas reforms including the introduction of the Pre-Legislative Stage for Bills. This has opened up the law making process like never before. Committees can now review the Heads of a Bill and meet with experts, interested citizens and civil society groups working in the area before providing a Report to the Minister while the Bill is still being drafted. This Pre-Legislative Stage is key to the way Government Legislative programmes will now be published.
- Our first list will set out the Government Bills to be published in the Session and comment on the Pre-Legislative status of each Bill.
- The second list will set out the Bills to undergo Pre-Legislative Stage in this Session.
- The third list will set out the other Bills each Department plans to introduce in the long term and provides an update on the status of each.
- The fourth list sets out those Bills currently before the Oireachtas.
- The final two lists set out the Acts passed and the Bills published by the current Government since it took office on the 6th May 2016.
Cabinet has approved 11 Bills for inclusion in its first Government Legislative Programme. There is a focus on tackling crime with a Criminal Justice Bill, Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill and Bills to reform the law on suspended sentences and victims of crime. The Government has also prioritised legislation in areas such as Admissions to Schools, Water Services, Paternity, the IRBC Commission of Investigation among other areas.
These 11 Bills, that the Government intend to publish over the next couple of months, together with the 14 Government Bills currently before the Dáil, 12 of which fell with the dissolution of the last Dáil but were reinstated, and three Bills the Government intends to reinstate in the Seanad means that this Government will have an active legislative agenda for the remainder of this Dáil term and into the Autumn term.
Regina Doherty, T.D.,
Government Chief Whip