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POLAND: Senate amends Anti-Crisis Shield

During a late-night vote, the opposition-controlled Senate passed the Anti-Crisis Shield package with amendments. In total, the Senate introduced 92 changes:

81 changes to the draft amendment bill on specific solutions related to the prevention, countering and eradication of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crises caused by them;

Senate vote: 75 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstained

10 changes to the draft amendment bill on certain laws regarding the healthcare system in relation to the prevention, countering and eradication of COVID-19;

Senate vote: 73 in favour, 0 against, 3 abstained

1 change to the draft amendment bill on the system of development institutions.

Senate vote: 75 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstained

Most revisions are intended to clarify legal uncertainties, determine the precise scope of individual measures and procedures. Notably, the Senate decided to remove provisions, which it believes are not directly related to the coronavirus epidemic: the introduction of postal ballot procedures, as well as the PM’s prerogative to dismiss members of the Social Dialogue Council. Additionally, the Senate proposed to use PLN 20 billion of EU funds for healthcare purposes and introduce weekly coronavirus tests for healthcare personnel. As a result, the draft laws will now return to the Sejm. The Sejm, which will convene today, may decide to accept the changes introduced by the Senate or with an absolute majority, can reject them and pass the bill in its previous form. After the Sejm’s vote, the draft bills will be signed by the President.