Parliament not fully utilizing the forum of its committees to debate matters that affect the people of St. Maarten.

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Member of Parliament Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams
Member of Parliament Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In a press release MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said, it was a progressive step when the parliament of St. Maarten in its wisdom decided to keep meetings of the parliamentary committees open. However, by not calling meetings of these committees as often as is possible and desirable, the purpose of these committees is defeated.

The work of these committees is to a large extent determined by the members of parliament who chair these committees. Members can ask for topics to be tabled, but there are no regulations that these meetings must be held. Something I believe needs to  change.

I am still awaiting a meeting of the Finance Committee of Parliament, I requested in June,  to be called, to discuss the 2013 annual reports of the government companies. MP Frans Richardson chairs this committee.

The past week I have asked the Chairperson of the Health Committee of Parliament  (MP Cornelius de Weever) to convene a meeting of this committee to discuss:

  • SMMC and the status of its upgrades and the financing thereof.
  • Changes to the medical insurance laws and expanded coverage for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.
  • Changes to the Civil Code with respect to labor contracts and maternity leave.
  • “Ley de Bion”.
  • Pension age increase.