Knesset Gives Final Approval to Bill to Expand ‘Norwegian Law’

MK Simcha Rothman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

​By a vote of 65 to 18, the Knesset Plenum on Monday night passed in its second and third readings the proposed amendment to the “Norwegian Law.”

The arrangement put forth in the bill proposes that in a faction numbering 1–2 MKs, one MK can end his membership. In a faction numbering three MKs, two MKs can end their membership. In a faction numbering 4–6 MKs, three MKs can end their membership. In a faction numbering between 7–9 MKs, four MKs can end their membership. In a faction numbering between 10–17 MKs, five MKs are entitled to end their membership. In a parliamentary group that numbers at least 18 MKs, one third of the group’s members can end their membership. When the calculation yields a result that is not a whole number, the result will be rounded off to the nearest higher whole number.

The explanatory notes to the bill state: “The main principle at the essence of this arrangement pertains to the restrictions placed on ministers and deputy ministers in their active parliamentary work. They are not permitted to serve as members of a Knesset committee or propose bills that are not [sponsored by​] the government. Therefore, the arrangement serves the principle of separation of powers, as well as the public interest that in the Knesset there will be a sufficient number of MKs who are active in the routine work that is carried out in the committees. Moreover, the arrangement allows a considerable number of ministers and deputy ministers to focus on their work in the executive branch following the termination of their membership in the Knesset.”

According to the estimation of the Knesset’s Research and Information Center, which was adopted by the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, each MK that will enter the Knesset by virtue of the arrangement will cost the state some NIS 1.95 million per year.

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chair MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism) presented the bill, saying “It is important to know that despite that while the bill deals mainly with increasing the number of Members of Knesset from large parliamentary factions [who can temporarily resign from the Knesset], it is estimated, at least based on what we know today, that during the term of the current Government and Knesset – due to the structure and factional make-up of the Government and the Knesset – there will apparently be less alternate MKs during the Knesset’s term, although, of course, the number will change if all the options are taken advantage of. Our estimation is that this Knesset will not include a larger number of alternate MKs.”

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