BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 24, 2020– The members of the House of Representatives will convene on Friday, September 25, for what will be the final House meeting in the current Prime Minister’s political career. The orders of the day will include presentations of reports from Select Committees, as well as the second reading of a number of bills that will then be passed on to the Senate.
The reports to be presented include a report from the Finance and Economic Development Committee on the Land Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020; a report from the Natural Resources and Environment Committee on the Radiation Safety and Security Bill 2020; a report from the National Security and Immigration Committee on the Immigration (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2020; and a report from the National Security and Immigration Committee on the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Bills for second reading include the Immigration (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2020, which will amend the Immigration Act Chapter 156 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, in relation to the movement of nationals of the Caribbean Community states. The amendment will provide for the expansion of the definition of “dependent” to include spouses and dependents of the nationals who are covered by the bill (as well as the inclusion of new definitions), and will also clarify the periods of automatic and indefinite stay for nationals of Caribbean Community States.
Another bill that will undergo a second reading is the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which will amend the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act, Chapter 17:02 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011 by introducing new definitions and expanding existing definitions in the bill as well as including new categories of approved persons and adding provisions that should aid in the increase of administrative and operational efficiency, among other things.
There will also be a second reading of the Land Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which empowers the ministers of government to remit land tax where there is the spread of an infectious disease, and the Radiation Safety and Security Bill, 2020, which provides for safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology, and for the establishment of a regulatory body, known as the Radiation Safety and Security Office, for that purpose.
It is also anticipated that the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, will announce the date of the upcoming general elections, although there has been no official indication from the Government that such an announcement will be made.