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Super-busy House session before summer break

Fifteen pieces of legislation will be up for debate in the House of Assembly today as Members of Parliament meet for the last time before the summer break.

A Bill to raise the debt ceiling is among the items to be debated. If passed, the amendment to the Government Loans Act 1978 will increase the borrowing limit by $600 million to $3.5 billion. Amendments to the law on the luring of minors and a difference in the jury selection between the defence and the prosecution will also be discussed.

The jury rules amendments were tabled in Parliament as Narinder Hargun, the Chief Justice, ruled that a section of the Criminal Code on juries went against the principle of the right to a fair trial. The section allowed prosecutors to stand down an unlimited number of potential jurors while defence counsel could only stand down three without reason.

The decision came after lawyer Mark Pettingill, acting for Jahmico Trott, made a constitutional application.

Bills tabled in Parliament last week addressing tourism investment, the transfer of responsibility for the regulation of all types of betting to the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, and the quashing of convictions for minor drug offences, are also among the matters to be debated.

Ministerial statements are expected to be delivered by the three ministers who have just taken over new portfolios.

David Burt, the Premier, is expected to speak about tourism, after adding that ministry to his responsibilities in this month's Cabinet shuffle. Mr Burt is also expected to provide an update about economic development.

Neville Tyrell, the Minister of Transport, and Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security, are also due to deliver statements.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, will deliver a statement on the stalled hotel and housing development at Caroline Bay.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, is to deliver a Covid-19 update, and Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, is to talk about school reform.

Derrick Burgess is due to table a report from the chief investigating officer in a drugs case that saw two former Dunkley's Dairy employees sentenced to ten years in prison in 2005 for conspiracy to import almost $3 million in cannabis in October 2003 in a Dunkley's Dairy container.

Mp's to meet at the Veritas Place due to renovations at the House of Assembly (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published July 24, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated July 24, 2020 at 8:26 am)

Super-busy House session before summer break

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