Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers (pictured) has published the legislative programme for the forthcoming Oireachtas session, which includes 34 bills for publication and priority drafting.
The programme, approved by ministers this week, has been published after consultation with all government departments, officials and the Attorney General’s office.
Among the bills being prioritised is the Health (Exemption for Children from Public Inpatient Charges) Bill, which removes a legal obligation for children under 16 years old to pay the statutory public in-patient charge when admitted to public hospitals.
The programme also includes the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill, which is aimed at increasing the number of cases settled by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) without the need for litigation.
In the Department of Justice, the Gambling Regulation Bill will establish a regulator for the sector, and modernise the licencing of gambling activities, while the Family Courts Bill will set up a Family Court as a separate division within the existing court structures.
Other bills listed in the justice area include the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which includes provisions relating to courts administration and other civil-law reform measures, and the Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill.
A bill to codify the law on the sale of alcohol is also in the justice list, as is the Garda Síochána (Digital Recording) Bill, which provides for use of body-worn cameras and automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) by the force.
In other areas, the Local Government (Maternity protection for Local Authority Elected members) Bill provides for maternity leave for members elected to local authorities around the country.
Remote-work bill on list
There are also some important bills from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on the list.
These include the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill, which amends 2015 legislation, and the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme Bill, which covers financial payments for people who were admitted to or resident in certain institutions.
The Right to Request Remote Work Bill is also included on the list.