San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

CAFTA, Transit Law Top Legislators’ Agenda

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

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

Lawmakers will return for an extraordinary session dealing with an agenda set by the administration of President Oscar Arias.

Toppping the list of issues is the passage of the final law – governing copyrights – needed to implement the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA). Reforms to the transit law and the creation of a sports ministry also are high on the agenda.

Arias also plans to send a series of initiatives to commissions. These proposals include a tax on casinos, a request for funding for infrastructure projects in the north of the country and simplification of rules relating to marinas.

However, proposals on Arias’ agenda won’t necessarily be passed before Arias leaves office in May. The CAFTA copyright legislation alone was laden with 121 motions before the December break.

Each motion must be discussed and voted on in committees 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).


–Chrissie Long

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