PACT Amendment Bill to be presented to Governor General for assent Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 March 2017 00:00

Belmopan. March 29, 2017.    In the sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday, March 24, 2017, the House passed the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (Amendment) Act, 2017 to vary the rate of the conservation fee collected from every non-Belizean departing from any air border; to apportion such fees between the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Pursuant to Section 80(1) of the Constitution of Belize, a “money Bill means a public Bill, which in the opinion of the Speaker, contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely, the imposition, repeal, remission, altercation or regulation of taxation; …”

Based on the definition above, the Speaker of the National Assembly was of the respectful opinion that the PACT Amendment Bill fits the definition of a “money Bill” and it was passed in the House as such. This Bill was considered by the Senate on Monday, March 27, 2017 and did not receive consent by the Senate. The Constitution allows for a money Bill defeated in the Senate to be presented to the Governor General for his assent in accordance with section 78(1) of the Constitution of Belize.

Section 78(1) of the Constitution of Belize prescribes, “If a money bill, having been passed by the House of Representatives and sent to the Senate at least one month before the end of the session, is not passed by the Senate without amendment within one month after it is sent to that House, the Bill shall, unless the House of Representatives otherwise resolves, be presented to the Governor-General for assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the Bill.”