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On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee as leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the University of Tartu Act (131 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The amendments to the Act are related to the transfer of the costs relating to resident physicians from the budget of the Ministry of Education and Research to the budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Residency cannot be regarded as part of the higher education system in the international comparison of educational costs because resident physicians are not students and their formal educational qualification does not rise after the completion of residency. This Bill improves the salary formation mechanism, by ensuring the uniformity of salary policy and salary agreements, and budget planning and residency commissions. The implementation of the amendments will also involve regulation of the functions in the area of government of the relevant ministries and more effective use of the working time. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee as leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Pre-School Child Care Institutions Act (116 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction, was concluded. The drafting of the Bill was due to the need to create legal bases for the realisation of the national investments programme “A Place in Kindergarten for Every Child”. The programme promotes the supporting of the construction of new kindergartens and renovation of the existing kindergartens. The amendments provide the possibility to establish, by a Regulation of the Government, the conditions for cost-sharing of local governments and the conditions for refunding of benefits, to transfer the task of implementing of benefits to the foundation, to prescribe funds for the administration of benefit amounts and to enable the Government to establish a multiannual investments plan. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee as leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the National Audit Office Act (110 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was concluded. The Bill eliminates the discriminating age limit of 65 years for working in the office of the Auditor General. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee as leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Postal Act (148 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The purpose of the Bill is to exclude the delivery of periodical publications from the scope of the universal postal service. The universal postal service provider is charged with the obligation to ensure delivery of periodical publications everywhere in Estonia through its postal network, as well as the obligation to ensure delivery to recipients of publications once a day, six days a week. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol Act (88 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 43 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion of the Committee and 38 members voted against, nobody abstained. Thus, the Bill was withdrawn from the legislative proceeding.

Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the plenary assembly, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 12 of the State Pension Insurance Act (81 SE), initiated by the Estonian People’s Union Faction, was adjourned. The deliberation will be resumed tomorrow, at the sitting beginning at 14.00.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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