Government Chief Whip and Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers has published the legislative programme which contains 34 bills for publication and priority drafting for the forthcoming Oireachtas session.
The programme was approved by Cabinet this week and is published following consultation with all government departments, officials and the Attorney General’s office.
Publishing the programme, Minister Chambers said it contained “a wide range of bills across Government departments which deliver on the commitments in the Programme for Government, ensure Ireland is well placed to respond to domestic and international challenges, and improve quality of life for all people right across our country”.
He added: “Included among the 34 bills for prioritisation is the Health (Exemption for Children from Public Inpatient Charges) Bill which removes the legal obligation for children under 16 years old to be charged the statutory public in-patient charge when admitted to public hospitals.
“The Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill, under the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, will enhance and reform the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) to increase the number of cases which are settled by PIAB without the need for litigation.”
Another bill included for priority is the Local Government (Maternity protection for Local Authority Elected members) Bill which provides for maternity leave for members elected to local authorities around the country.
In Justice, the Gambling Regulation Bill will establish a regulator for the sector and modernise the licencing of gambling activities while another piece of legislation, the Family Courts Bill, will establish a Family Court as a separate division within the existing court structures.
Minister Chambers concluded: “In addition, work will continue on the development, drafting and progression through the House of all other bills and not just those on the priority list.”