A full in tray of bills and activities awaits the senate as it resumes its sittings today

A full in tray of bills and activities awaits the senate as it resumes its sittings today

Key legislative activities are likely to be grounded as Senate resumes its sittings today for its last session and final lap.

Being an electioneering period, the Senate will have confront major quorum hitches that has characterised their counterparts at the National Assembly for the better part of its sessions this year.

The National Assembly has on several occasions suspended its business after they could not raise the required quorum to transact of the house.

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The senate regarded as an upper house of parliament will also have to contend among other issues, mounting pressure from the Council of Governors (CoG) and the Forum of County Speakers to pass devolution bills that will give the next bunch of governors and MCAs a smooth take-off.

Last week, at the close of the second Legislative Summit in Mombasa, MCAs appealed to the senators to fast-track up to 10 Bills which they said hold the key to successful devolution.

Among the Bills the MCAs asked the Senate to pass before end of the session in May included: the County Pensions Scheme Bill, the Intergovernmental Relations (Amendment) Bill, 2014 to entrench the Council of County Assemblies in law, the Impeachment Procedure Bill, 2016 to clarify the impeachment process and the Public Participation Bill, 2016.

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Other Bills the 47 county assemblies want the Senate to push the National Assembly to consider and pass include County Attorneys Bill, 2014, Office of the County Printer Bill, 2014, the County Public Service Bill, Petition to County Assembly (Procedure) Bill, 2014 and the Access to Information Bill, 2016.

Key Bills that are also expected to feature in the senate sittings includes, the Division of Revenue Bill, the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, the Kenya Roads Bill, Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, the County Boundaries Bill and the County Government (Amendment) Bill.

However, passage of crucial bills and adopting committee reports considered dear to the 47 devolved units will be greatly be disadvantaged as senators retreat their respective constituencies to solidify their political support base ahead of the April party primaries.

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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has scheduled all political parties to conduct their party primaries between April 13 and April 26.

And the August 8th election beckoning, X news has established that majority of the senators who have announced that they will not be defending their seat but will instead be going for others seats like the lucrative governorship positions will not be keen in attending sessions.

Droves of senators making a fuming rush for more money-spinning and influential positions.

Of the 67 senators, both elected and nominated, 34 have announced they are running for other positions or retiring from active politics.

Most Senators are aiming for governor and MPs position as they make a stab control more resources leaving behind power struggles with the National Assembly that seeks to curtail and  weakened Senate the  and its  already limited powers.

Of the two elected senators, two are running to be President of Kenya and they include Ford-Kenya Party leader Moses Wetang’ula and Nyamira Kennedy Mongare who was elected on a Ford-Kenya ticket.

Nevertheless, with quorum hitches almost being a reality, the senators will have to amend the standing orders to allow the timelines for the passage of the Bills to factor in the August election.

Among the bill in the priorities list of the senators includes the crucial legislation such as the County Retirement Scheme Bill, County Allocation of Revenue Bill and Budget appropriation bill.

The budget is expected to read later this week by Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich.

However, the senate will be keen on ensuring key laws touching on devolution are passed.

According to the bills tracker published by the Senate on March 6, the House, since its inception in 2013, has handled 125 bills, most of which have been recorded to have lapsed, while others were passed by senators but gathered dust in the National Assembly.

READ MORE: Why budget will be read early this year

Late last year, senators threatened not to pass legislation from the National Assembly unless their bill are fast tracked their Bills.

A total eleven Bills are currently pending for first reading and with less than four months to the election, they are likely not to see the light of day.

Of the 70 petitions that have been filed in the Senate since March 2013, only 31 have been dealt with and responses given to the petitioners pursuant to Standing Order 228.

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