Knesset Narrowly Passes First Reading Of Massive 2-Year Budget


knessetBy a narrow margin, the Knesset on Wednesday night approved the first reading of a two-year budget bill.

In a special recess gathering, after hours of debates, lawmakers voted on the 2015-2016 budget proposal — called the largest ever — with 57 in favor and 53 opposed.

Economy Minister Aryeh Deri, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan were not present at the vote.

The accompanying omnibus Arrangements Bill was also approved in a Wednesday night vote with the same distribution of votes.

The budget, as presented by the government, comes to some NIS 424.8 billion ($108 billion) annually, or NIS 41 billion ($10.4 billion) more than in 2014 and the largest ever in Israel’s history, according to the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom.

The new budget covers both 2015 and 2016 because the Knesset never passed a 2015 budget, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new snap elections in December 2014.

Read more at Times of Israel.

{ Israel}