San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Transit law, CAFTA top legislators' list

Costa Rica´s Legislative Assembly is scheduled to reconvene on Monday for the first time since lawmakers recessed for the holidays on Dec. 22.

With the presidential elections dominating the political scene, they agreed to delay deliberations until Feb. 8, the day immediately following elections.

Congressmen will return to an agenda set by the administration of Oscar Arias in a period of time known as “extraordinary session.”

Top on Arias´ list is the passage of the final law needed to implement the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), which governs copyright law. Reforms to the transit law and the creation of a sports ministry are also high on the agenda.

He also plans on sending a series of initiatives to commissions, which include a proposed tax on casinos, a request for funding for infrastructure projects in the north of the country and a bill to simplify rules relating to marinas.

However, just because a topic made it onto Arias´ agenda, it doesn´t mean it will materialize under his administration. The CAFTA copyright legislation alone had 121 motions tagged to it before the December break.

Each motion must be discussed and voted on in commission and then allowed 45 minutes of debate on the floor of the assembly, independent legislator Evita Arguedas told The Tico Times in January. “The process in the Legislative Assembly is very extensive,” she said (TT, Jan. 15).

Arias, along with the 57 members of the Assembly, are due to leave office in three months.

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