1. Pursuant to standing order (SO) 230(c), the resumption of debate for the second reading of a bill that gives effect to an intergovernmental agreement or adopts or introduces a uniform scheme (uniform bill ) is to be a date not less than 30 days from the day that the bill is read a first time. By operation of SO 230(d) and the Legislation Committee’s (Committee) terms of reference, a uniform bill stands referred to the Committee, which must report within the 30-day period.
2. By this report the Committee recommends amendments to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Council to insert a standing order that specifically deals with uniform bills and which:
· provides the House with the flexibility to order that a uniform bill be referred to a committee other than the Legislation Committee, or not referred to a committee at all;
· provides the House with the flexibility to order that the period within which a committee must report to the House on a uniform bill be altered; and
· suspends the second reading debate on a uniform bill until the expiry of 30 days of the date of the first reading or until it has been reported from a committee, whichever is the later.
3. The Committee’s proposed amendments are set out in Appendix 2 to this report.
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Legislative Council Standing Orders be amended in accordance with Appendix 2 to this report.