2,800 items stalled as Legislature occupiers head into week 3



TAIPEI–Legislative functions have been stalled since student-led protesters starting occupying the Legislature March 18, forcing more than 2,800 bills and motions to be set aside as demonstrators continue to show no intentions of standing down.

Before the Legislative Yuan was effectively shut down, 1,799 motions were set for review by standing committees, 959 had passed their initial review, and 71 were awaiting approval by the procedural committee to be listed on the agenda, according to the Legislature’s website.

The current Legislature, elected in January 2012, passed 383 bills by the end of its fourth session, but none have been passed during the fifth session which began Feb. 21.

Among the stalled legislation is a draft bill regarding long-term care services that passed its initial review in January but has made no progress since, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

“The bill is the legal basis for future long-term care systems and is relevant to (all members of) the public, not just the elderly,” said Teng Su-wen, a department head of the ministry.

An amendment that would strengthen penalties for false advertising on food products is also in legislative limbo, according to the ministry.

Protesters stormed into the Legislature March 18 to show their opposition to how the administration and lawmakers have handled the trade-in-services agreement with China.

Among their demands, they want the passage of a comprehensive law to scrutinize all cross-strait agreements before the services pact is sent for further review.