Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (106)

James Lawless


106. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his plans to publish the electoral reform Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38285/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government approved the drafting of the General Scheme of an Electoral Reform Bill on 20 October 2020. The general scheme will address commitments in the Programme for Government - Our Shared Future relating to the establishment of a statutory, independent electoral commission, the modernisation of the electoral registration process and the regulation of online political advertising during election periods. It will also include proposals aimed at assisting with the holding of electoral events where Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

I expect that the general scheme will be brought to Government in the coming weeks and, subject to Government approval, it will be then sent to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage so that the pre-legislative scrutiny process can commence. It is then likely to take a number of months to draft the Bill prior to submission to Government for approval for publication.