Date set for Stage 3 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

I am writing to inform you that the Scottish Parliament has now set a date for Stage 3 consideration of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill (as amended at Stage 2).

Stage 3 amendments to the Bill will be considered on Wednesday 17 June 2015. The debate and voting on Stage 3 amendments is expected to get underway at about 2.40pm that afternoon. This process is expected to take a few hours and be followed by the final debate on whether Bill, as finally amended at Stage 3, should be passed into law. The final vote on the Bill has been scheduled for 7pm on 17 June. Please note, this time may be subject to change depending on the number of amendments to be considered. You will be updated if the expected time for the vote changes.

Proceedings will be broadcast live on the Parliament online TV channel. If you wish to watch the debate in person, you may book tickets online for the public gallery of the Debating Chamber, or by ringing 0131 348 5200. Tickets are free of charge.

How does Stage 3 operate?

There are some major differences between Stage 2 and Stage 3 proceedings on a Bill. Firstly, Stage 3 is conducted by the whole Parliament in the main Chamber (unlike Stage 2 which happens in Committee). Unlike Stage 2, where only the MSPs on the reverent Committee get to vote, at Stage 3 all MSPs in the Parliament get to vote on amendments.

As with Stage 2, any MSP can seek to lodge amendments to the Bill at Stage 3. MSPs can seek to lodge amendments as soon as the Bill has completed Stage 2. However, unlike Stage 2 where all valid amendments are accepted for consideration, at Stage 3 the Presiding Officer of the Parliament has sole discretion to decide which amendments she will or will not accept for consideration.

The deadline for MSPs to seek to lodge amendments to a Bill at Stage 3 is 4.30pm on the fourth sitting day before the day on which Stage 3 proceedings are due to take place in the Chamber. As Stage 3 proceedings on the Community Empowerment Bill is scheduled for Wednesday 17 June, the deadline for MSPs to seek to lodge amendments is, therefore, 4.30pm on Thursday 11 June. Any amendments lodged will be published in a Daily List (just as at Stage 2). A copy of each Daily List will be emailed to you as soon as it is available.

What happens after Stage 3?

As soon as the Stage 3 amendment process is finished, the Parliament will move straight on to final debate on the Bill. After this debate the Parliament will vote on whether to pass the Bill into law. If passed, the Bill then goes for Royal Assent and there follows a process by which the Bill becomes an Act and its various sections are brought into force. Further emails explaining that process will be sent to you after Stage 3 proceedings.

Regards Seán
Seán Wixted
Assistant Clerk
Local Government and Regeneration Committee

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