San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lawmakers pave way for vote on fiscal reform plan

On Tuesday at noon, lawmakers ended a period of review for thousands of motions filed against a fiscal reform plan currently being debated in the Legislative Assembly. A first round of full-assembly voting on the plan – a key priority of President Laura Chinchilla and her administration – could begin Tuesday afternoon or during a Wednesday session.

At the end of discussion on the motions, lawmaker Luis Gerardo Villanueva, from the National Liberation Party, opened final debates, in which lawmakers from each party have up to 10 minutes to make final statements. There is consensus among legislators that the plan has already been widely discussed.

However, even if lawmakers vote on the bill today, it does not imply immediate implementation, because a second round of voting is required. Before that can happen, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) must rule on the constitutionality of sections of the bill. The Sala IV review was requested by lawmaker Luis Fishman, of the Social Christian Unity Party.

The court would have 30 days to issue a ruling.

Fishman said this afternoon when speaking to local TV news station Telenoticias that he is preparing yet another constitutional review request from the Sala IV, meaning the bill could face up to a year’s delay.

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