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The Riigikogu passed today with 89 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act and the Vocational Educational Institutions Act (115 SE), initiated by the Government. Pursuant to the amendments, a starting benefit will be paid to teachers who are starting at their first teaching post at school, in the amount provided for in the annual State Budget Act. Persons who have completed teacher training at higher education level and who commence work at their first teaching post in the I–III stage of study or in the upper secondary school stage at a general education school, except at a general education school in Tallinn or Tartu, within one year after completion of the training, may apply for the starting benefit. The starting benefit is also paid to teachers who commence work at their first teaching post at a vocational educational institution outside Tallinn or Tartu. The proposed amount of the starting benefit of a teacher is 200,000 kroons in 2008, which is going to be paid to teachers who comply with the requirements provided for in the Act, within the first three working years – 100,000 kroons in the first year and 50,000 kroons in the second and the third year, respectively. A teacher or a person who receives the starting benefit is required to return the benefit paid to him or her if his or her continuous employment as a teacher terminates before five have passed as of receipt of the first amount of the benefit. The Act enters into force on 1 September 2008. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Riigikogu passed with 88 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Penal Code and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (4 SE and 106 SE), initiated by the Government. The Penal Code is amended so as to enable Estonia to impose punishments for violations relating to marine pollution caused by ships. Also, a section which provides a punishment for manufacturing of medals and orders similar to euro coins for commercial purposes is added to the Penal Code. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Postal Act Amendment Act (148 SE), initiated by the Economic Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, was passed with 60 votes in favour. Pursuant to the amendments, the delivery of periodical publications is excluded from the scope of the universal postal service and equal conditions are ensured for all market participants in the delivery of periodical publications. The Act enters into force on 1 January 2008. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Act on Amendments to the Insurance Activities Act, the Financial Supervision Authority Act and the Personal Data Protection Act (118 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 85 votes in favour. Amendments deriving from the Reinsurance Directive are introduced into the Insurance Activities Act and the Financial Supervision Authority Act currently in force. New sections are added to the Insurance Activities Act, including provisions concerning reinsurance activities and reinsurers, the requirements for engaging in different types of insurance activities and the liability for violation of the requirements, as well as provisions concerning customers and processing of the data concerning customers, and restrictions on investment of insurer’s committed assets. This Act enters into force on 1 January 2008, § 53 of the Act enters into force on the day following publication in the Riigi Teataja. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee as leading committee, the second 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 amendments are intended to create legal conditions for the realisation of the national investments programme “A Place in Kindergarten for Every Child”. Pursuant to the Bill, the Government is authorised to establish the conditions of and procedure for allocation and use of the support from the state budget for creation of places at pre-school child care institutions, renovation of child care institutions and the funds for salaries of teachers of child care institutions. The Bill also sets out that the rate of cost-sharing for local governments and the requirements for allocation of additional funds for salaries are defined by these conditions. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

 

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