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MPs, senators face new strain over bills

The two Houses of Parliament could be headed for yet another stand off. This is after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi directed that two bills from the Senate be stayed pending a determination on whether they were properly tabled.

Muturi told members the County Boundaries Bill and the County Attorney Bill, were money bills and, therefore, require scrutiny by the necessary offices.

“I have requested the Clerk of the National Assembly to refer the two bills to the Parliamentary Budget Office to offer advice that will enable the Speaker to form the opinion contemplated in the Standing Order,” he said.

“Thereafter, I shall guide the House accordingly on how to proceed with the consideration of the said bills,” he added.

Among other objectives, he said, the County Boundaries Bill seeks to provide a mechanism for the resolution of boundaries; to give effect to Article 188 of the Constitution by providing for the procedure for alteration of county boundaries and to provide for the establishment of an independent county boundaries commission.

The County Attorney Bill, seeks to give powers to the attorney to discharge duties similar to those exercised by the Attorney General.

The Speaker told members that the two bills will be read a First Time as stipulated in the Standing Order 143(1).

The order provides that following the first reading, the Speaker shall, within reasonable time, pronounce his or her opinion contemplated under Article 114(2) of the Constitution.

Therefore, it will be the prerogative of the Speaker to determine whether a bill from the Senate is a “Money Bill” in the terms of Article 114 of the Constitution.

Muturi said the Parliamentary Budget Office will be expected to determine whether the two bills are “Money Bills” and if so they will be rejected before moving to the second reading as the Constitution stipulates that all Money Bills must originate from the National Assembly.

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