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The Riigikogu passed with 82 votes in favour the resolution on amendments to the resolution on formation of the Committee on Application of the Anti-corruption Act (226 OE), submitted by the Estonian Green Party Faction. Pursuant to the Resolution, Maret Merisaar was appointed a member of the Committee instead of Aleksei Lotman. Lotman was appointed an alternate member instead of Maret Merisaar. Nobody voted against the Resolution, 2 members of the Riigikogu abstained.

The Riigikogu decided by secret ballot with 62 votes in favour to appoint Jaan Sven Männik to the office of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank (257 OE). This Resolution enters into force on 13 June 2008. 7 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Resolution and 1 member of the Riigikogu abstained.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee as the leading committee, the Draft Resolution on formation of the Riigikogu Study Committee to analyse forestry problems (251 OE), submitted by the Estonian People’s Union Faction, the Estonian Centre Party Faction and the Estonian Green Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 47 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion of the Committee and 35 members voted against, nobody abstained. Thus, the Draft was withdrawn from the legislative proceeding.

On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Gambling Bill (216 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The purpose of this Bill is to establish higher requirements for organisers of gambling games and to provide measures for protection of gamblers and to reduce the negative consequences of gambling games and their impact on society. The Act intends to regulate the organisation of gambling games, state supervision of organisation thereof in the territory of Estonia and on board of ships entered in the Estonian register of ships, and the liability for violation of the requirements arising from the Act. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund Act (246 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The purpose of the Bill is to eliminate the deficiencies in the Health Insurance Act which have become apparent in practice, to define in more detail the process for entering into contracts of financing of treatment, and to specify the regulation concerning the medical devices on the basis of which the health insurance fund is required to pay a fee pursuant to the Health Insurance Act. A more substantial amendment in the Bill is related to regulations concerning medical devices. Medical devices with advanced technology and capacities are more expensive and more comfortable to use, however, it is necessary to find a possibility to compensate the necessary medical devices at a reasonable price within the context of limited resources. At the same time, insured persons should be offered an opportunity to choose among different medical devices and medical devices should be available for the target groups for whom it is vitally important to use the medical device or who have no alternative.

Under the Bill, the health insurance fund will have the right to make an entry guaranteeing sickness insurance cover to a person on its own initiative in cases when the employer fails to present documents necessary for the formation of the insurance cover but has paid social tax. An entry can be made on the initiative of the health insurance fund on the basis of the data certifying payment of social tax presented by the Tax and Customs Board. Also, the Bill defines in more detail the process for entering into contracts of financing of treatment. The Bill also intends to extend the right to receive a benefit for denture to persons receiving a pension for incapacity for work, taking account of their state of health and actual needs, besides the persons receiving a state old-age pension and other persons of over 63 years of age. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act (223 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. According to the Bill, the persons who have acquired a Doctoral level degree will also be entitled to apply for write-off of a study loan starting from 2009. The amendment eliminates the current restriction and Doctoral candidates are granted equal status with other students. The Act which is currently in force allows students to apply for a partial write-off of that part of the amount of their study loans secured by the state which has not yet been repaid (with the exception of interest). (One) parent raising a child of up to 5 years of age is entitled to such write-off. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

 

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