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The Riigikogu passed with 79 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Packaging Act and the Packaging Excise Duty Act (195 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Act is to enhance efficient reuse of packaging materials. With the target indicators established for materials by the Act, the focus in implementation of reuse objectives will be on such materials as can be collected and reused with more economic benefit. In the opinion of the initiator, this enables package entrepreneurs to perform the obligations of collection and recovery of packages and packaging waste as established in the Packaging Act at optimum costs. Also, the gradual increase of the target indicators provided in the Act gives enterprises the chance to plan the necessary costs and investments for developing the system of collection and recovery of packaging waste on a longer-term basis. The requirements for packaging waste collection sites are supplemented and collection of packaging subject to the deposit is made more convenient and expedient for people in low density areas. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Resolution on Amendments to the Resolution “Formation of the Council for Allocation of Grants from Gambling Tax Revenues” (227 OE), initiated by the Estonian Green Party Faction, was passed with 74 votes in favour. Toomas Trapido and Sirje Jõgiste were excluded from the membership of the Council for Allocation of Grants from Gambling Tax Revenues, and Member of the Riigikogu Maret Merisaar and Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research Janar Holm were appointed new members of the Council. Nobody voted against the Resolution and nobody abstained.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act and the Administrative Cooperation Act (190 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The Bill aims at ensuring that the funds allocated in the state budget for training of judges are used more efficiently and purposefully, by modifying the organisational framework established for organisation of training of judges. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia for Enabling Public Initiative (210 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Evelyn Sepp, Kalle Laanet, Aadu Must, Marika Tuus, Heimar Lenk, Tiit Kuusmik, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Toomas Varek, Jaan Kundla, Enn Eesmaa, Jüri Ratas, Olga Sõtnik, Kalev Kallo, Toivo Tootsen, Arvo Sarapuu, Rein Ratas, Inara Luigas, Nelli Privalova, Eldar Efendijev, Vilja Savisaar, Ain Seppik and Aivar Riisalu, was concluded. The initiators stated that the purpose of the Bill was to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia by providing additional opportunities to exercise the supreme power of state by virtue of the right of public initiative. The Bill would enable citizens to initiate Bills, irrespective of whether the political parties represented in the Riigikogu participate in the initiative or not. In order to exercise this right, at least 25 000 citizens with the right to vote must sign a relevant Bill. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Fuel Excise Duty Act, the Alcohol Act and the Advertising Act (200 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was concluded. Pursuant to the Bill, 3 per cent of the alcohol and fuel excise received in the state budget will be allocated to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund for financing the treatment of alcoholism and 1 per cent will be allocated to the Ministry of Social Affairs for financing the prevention of alcoholism and smoking. The Bill establishes a restriction on the retail sale of alcohol, prohibiting the sale of alcohol from 10.00 p.m. until 10.00 a.m. Also, the Bill prohibits advertising of alcoholic beverages in television and radio as well as in outdoor advertising. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the Persons Sent to Area of Nuclear Disaster Act (206 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 35 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion of the Committee and 27 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 the State Family Benefits Act (208 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was adjourned. The purpose of the Bill is to raise the monthly child care allowance to 3000 kroons, instead of the current amount of 600 kroons, by 2010. The deliberation of the Bill will be resumed on Tuesday, 6 May, at the sitting beginning at 10.00 a.m.

See the verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

 

 

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