New Bill To Streamline Processes In Both Houses Of Parliament Proposed

In a bid to alleviate the longstanding tensions between the National Assembly and the Senate, a new bill has been introduced aimed at streamlining legislative processes and fostering cooperation between the two houses of Parliament.

The proposed legislation, known as the Houses of Parliament Bill 2023, seeks to address legal ambiguities highlighted during the Petition of the Finance Act 2023 and establish clear procedures for the consideration of legislative matters by each house.

Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, the sponsor of the bill, emphasised the need for a comprehensive framework to delineate the roles and responsibilities of both houses in legislative processes. The bill aims to quell disputes and enhance efficiency in lawmaking.

Key provisions of the bill include requirements for all bills passed by the National Assembly that impact devolution to undergo debate and approval in the Senate before enactment. This measure aims to ensure adequate representation of county interests in the legislative process.

Additionally, matters such as the Annual County Allocation of Revenue Bill and bills related to constitutional amendments will require scrutiny and approval by both houses. However, certain bills, such as Appropriation Bills and finance bills directly related to national government revenue-raising powers, will be exclusively considered by the National Assembly.

The bill also proposes the establishment of a joint mediation committee tasked with resolving disputes between the two houses and overseeing joint proceedings and committees. It outlines procedures for handling rejected bills, emphasising the importance of cooperation and consensus-building in legislative decision-making.

Overall, the Houses of Parliament Bill 2023 seeks to foster harmonious relations between the National Assembly and the Senate, mitigate conflicts, and streamline the legislative process for the benefit of all stakeholders, including county governments and the public. If passed, the bill could mark a significant step forward in promoting unity and efficiency within Kenya’s legislative framework, paving