The autumn parliamentary session is underway in Bern, with new plexiglass dividers in place and pandemic-related legislation up for debate.This content was published on September 7, 2020 - 09:52
In order to protect the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, the partitions were installed between the seats of their chambers. Face masks, though not required, are strongly recommended inside the federal parliament.
Over the next three weeks the 46 senators and 200 representatives will be handling more business than usual, with additional afternoon discussions, some expected to last into the evening. For example, both chambers will tackle the Covid-19 Act, designed to enshrine emergency law into ordinary law where necessary.
Also on the agenda: additional pandemic-related credit of CHF770 million ($842 million) for items such as virus tests, railway infrastructure or air traffic control. Support for football and ice hockey clubs will be discussed as well. A further CHF700 million is earmarked for public transport. The Unemployment Act must also be amended to ensure unemployment aid.
Non-coronavirus-related business includes funding for culture, education, research and innovation, as well as legislation related to blockchain, political donations, money laundering and cannabis research.
The autumn parliamentary session runs until September 25.