Riigikogu Constitutional Committee recommends amending Family Benefits Act

Meeting of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.
Meeting of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. Source: Merilin Pärli/ERR

The Riigikogu Constitutional Committee decided by consensus on Tuesday not to support the re-adoption of family benefits legislation, which was earlier rejected by the president.

All members of the constitutional committee agreed with this proposal by Eduard Odinets (SDE), the chair of the committee.

Jaak Valge (EKRE), the vice-chair of the committee, said that EKRE also supports opening up the law to amendments in order to avoid it being delayed.

The president's legal adviser, Hent-Raul Kalmo, said that if the law were to be passed again unchanged, the president would have to take it to the Supreme Court.

Kalmo also said that the the president's authority to veto laws extends beyond instances in which a bill is unconstitutional. He said the president also has the power to block a law.

The president cited unequal treatment in relation to families of different sizes, and last week declined to give his assent to the bill, in full accordance with his constitutional powers.

Mart Võrklaev (Reform) said that the solution could be to remove the controversial clause - "large family allowance calculated after maintenance withdrawal is paid only for common children."

Paul Puustusmaa (EKRE) and Jaak Valge (EKRE) also agreed.

The constitutional committee failed to reach an agreement on a committee presentation for the extraordinary plenary sitting scheduled for tomorrow. Eduard Odinets will make a presentation. However, Tõnis Mölder (Centre), Jaak Valge and Paul Puustusmaa did not agree. Mölder and Puustusmaa both proposed Jaak Valge.

As the initial vote was split evenly, the supporters of Odinets brought in Timo Suslov (Reform) after the break. Suslov cast a fourth vote in Odinets' favor, who was elected rapporteur.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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