Sharing is caring! Share 77 Views one comment Tweet Share LocalNews Government announces review of electoral laws by: Dominica Vibes News – June 24, 2015 Share Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at Press conference earlier today.Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced a review of the country’s laws pertaining to the electoral process.Mr Skerrit told a monthly press briefing on Tuesday 23 June 2015 although the country has always produced free and fair elections reflecting the wish of the Dominican electorate, a review of all laws and processes is always necessary.The Prime Minister highlighted several areas will be reviewed which will safeguard the constitutional right to vote, to include “strengthening the revision and verification processes of the list of electors so as only those under the laws of Dominica are entitled to vote are or remain on the list.”“Clarifying the election law on bribery including by expressly providing that transportation of electors or supporters is lawful, unless such transportation of electors or supporters is provided for the purpose of inducing persons to vote for a particular candidate and or a party when otherwise they would not vote for the candidate in question,” Mr Skerrit explained.He further stated that the reform will ensure that the national identification cards are in place for use sufficiently in advance of the next general election. “In that regard, government is committed to ensuring that the necessary funds be made available to complete the ongoing process towards the establishment of national ID cards.”The Prime Minister informed that the government has already purchased the equipment for the processing of the National ID Cards and “what has to be done is for the issuance of those cards for those who are eligible to have those cards”.Mr Skerrit further informed of his government’s intention to submit the proposed amendments electoral reform for review and comments to the Chief Elections Officer and the Electoral Commission through President Charles Savarin.
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“I’m happy they’re out,” he said. “They’re important bills.” AB 502 would create a test program in which a city attorney would be assigned to assist undocumented immigrants who are victims of rape and domestic violence, he said. In all, the Assembly Appropriations Committee considered 591 bills that included $7 billion in new spending. But the committee rejected about a third of the proposals Thursday, trimming proposed spending by 92 percent, said Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the committee chairman. Seven of nine of Calderon’s proposals made it out of the committee, while five of six of Mendoza’s survived. Two freshmen state legislators from the Whittier area were celebrating Thursday after several of their bills passed in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, a key step in the lawmaking process. The bills ranged from Assemblyman Charles Calderon’s AB 502, which would create a pilot program to help undocumented immigrants who are victimized by domestic violence, to Assemblyman Tony Mendoza’s AB 97, which would ban trans fat in restaurant food. “I’m very pleased,” said Mendoza, D-Norwalk. “Even though this is my first year as a legislator, I have several substantive and ambitious pieces of legislation, and we’ve been able to move them through the process very well.” Calderon, D-Industry, said he, too, was pleased about his bills’ progress. All of the bills passed Thursday must now go to the full Assembly for votes. Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, was not as successful; only two of four of his proposals passed through the committee. Meanwhile, in the state Senate, Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, saw one of his bills approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. To get their bills through, the legislators sometimes had to accept changes. Mendoza’s trans fat bill, for instance, was amended to exempt schools. The committee apparently was concerned about economic impacts and spending. The committee, for example, also held back El Segundo Democrat Assemblyman Ted Lieu’s bill that would have banned trans fat from schools. The proposal would have cost the state up to $50 million to implement. “I am very concerned about making school cafeteria food healthier,” Mendoza said. “But there is still a bill pending in the Senate specifically relating to that issue. So by amending our bill, we let them carry that part of the fight against artery-clogging trans fats and we can concentrate on making restaurant food healthier.” Both Calderon and Mendoza failed to get bills passed to increase full-time faculty at community colleges and state universities. But Calderon touted his bill, AB 1486, that seeks to add 5,000 more state mental health counselors. It was approved by the appropriations panel, probably because it would cost relatively little money. “We have a huge shortage of mental health counselors,” said Calderon. “About 5,000 people can’t practice because of \ license requirements. This will set up a whole new licensing scheme and result in 5,000 more counselors.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!