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Aug 12, 2013

Senate votes on bills to improve quality of life

This morning the Senate met in Belmopan to debate and vote on bills and motions passed through the House this past Wednesday. One of the financial bills up for approval is a loan to government from the Caribbean Development Bank. The loan is in the amount of five point two U.S. million dollars to be used to improve citizen and community security in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pickstock and Port Loyola. The government says it needs the money to, (Quote) “enhance literacy and adaptive life skills, support conflict mediation and improve linkages and sharing of best practices among agencies working in those communities. (Unquote) According to the business sector and opposition representatives in the House, that sounds great, but they’re going to need a lot more information than that.


Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Private Sector

Mark Lizarraga

“In this case, Mister President, no such document was presented to us. Why were the project details not attached so that we could have meaningful and proper debate on the proposal? Can my colleagues who intend to vote yes for this money bill to pass today assure us that they have seen the proposals for disbursement and implementation of this project? How can we be expected to contribute or support such a noble endeavor if we do not know how the monies will be spent?”


Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“In our zeal to make sure that we are providing for what the young people of Belize need, we cannot skip a step. Some ah unu cook and some ah unu like eat. You know you got skip a step lasagna…sometimes you noh have to boil the lasagna, you just put the noodles and you shove it into the oven and bake it. Well this is not skip a step loan motion. There is no good reason why any of us as legislatures should want to approve even as laudable a loan motion as this without having any detail other than the bare loan motion before us as to what it will be used for.”


Mark Lizarraga

“Mr. President, please do not ask us to blindly support a proposal as noble as the stated objectives may be. Please do not ask us to support the borrowing and spending of ten point four million dollars of the people’s money without ever having seen a proposal; much less having read it or reviewed it or even consulted on it. On that principle, this bill will not have my support.”


Lizarraga called for a division of the Senate on the motion. There were six ‘ayes’ from the government senators, three abstentions from the opposition and union representatives and a NO from Lizarraga.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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