Arrindell expects more from colleagues in year two

POSTED: 09/9/11 2:10 PM

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – President of Parliament drs. Gracita Arrindell has said she will expect more from Members of Parliament starting on the second Tuesday of September when the 2011/2012 Parliamentary year is opened. It will be the first time that MPs will have a full parliamentary year ahead of them and they will have the benefit of a full time Secretary General and other support staff that weren’t fully in place when the parliament began operating on October 10, 2010.
“I absolutely expect more in year two. Curacao took over already existing infrastructure and was able to start on day one. Our challenges however did not stop us from proceeding and I want to thank everyone, especially the staff, for going through the headaches in the transition period. In spite of the legal limbo they were in these people made sure we were able to start and continue,” Arrindell said.
With the challenges somewhat behind them Arrindell is hoping that MPs will be able to get down to the core business of handling laws submitted by the government and in drafting their own laws. Among the laws that will come up in year two is the Law on Special Investigative Powers. That and 13 others have been submitted by Justice Minister Roland Duncan.
“I really hope that we can have more initiative laws as I am hoping we can focus more on the legislative process. I want people to realize though that the process to write a law takes time and even though that is not excuse not to handle laws, we must all understand that it’s not all that simple to write a law,” Arrindell said.

Arrindell continues to stress that Parliament is a new entity and said on Thursday that she wants part of her legacy to be ensuring that the infrastructure and legislative process are running smoothly when she leaves office. That includes finalizing the procedure for the Parliament of St. Maarten to have an autonomous financial administration. The Ministry of Finance is the current administrator on Parliament’s behalf. The draft budget for Parliament totals roughly six million guilders but that can move up or down depending on the ongoing discussions on the budget and the proposals that MPs deliver during the coming debate.

Arrindell will present a year report when the sitting year is closed on Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. That report will cover the challenges of the first year and the outlook for the future. It will also reflect the meetings held, laws handled and the attendance record of MPs.
Monday’s meeting to close the parliamentary year will be aired live on Channel 20 and though it should be a regular meeting with an agenda Arrindell has proposed that the event be on where each of the faction leaders gives their assessment of the first parliamentary year.

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