First we begin at the National Assembly.
It is the last day of this year′s regular session… and lawmakers have passed some
core bills that aims to improve the nation′s welfare system… and prevent corruption.
Ji Myung-kil has this report. Korea′s two political parties have agreed
to give families facing severe financial hardships… more help from the government.
The National Assembly passed three revised welfare bills Tuesday… that will expand
the scope of beneficiaries and put up a strong safety net for destitute families.
The bills were proposed after a mother and her two daughters committed suicide in February
in Seoul because of financial troubles. On top of the welfare bills,… rival parties
also passed an anti-corruption bill that will restrict public officials from getting new
jobs for up to three years after they retire. It′s intended to stem the long-standing
practice of government officials taking jobs related to their area of purview after retirement,…
something that often leads to corporate malfeasance and negligence.
Violating the law carries a possible punishment of two years in prison and fines of 18-thousand
U.S. dollars. However, the parliament has been dragging
its feet on an anti-corruption bill that would set up stricter punishments for civil servants
who receive bribes. It is still up for review in committee, as
lawmakers are at loggerheads on whether families of civil servants should be subject to punishment
if implicated in a crime. Lawmakers are trying to minimize any subjective
interpretation of the bill. Lawmakers are also turning the mirror on themselves.
The ruling party′s reform committee has proposed reducing certain privileges for lawmakers,
which includes banning them from holding public signing events for books they′ve authored,
as they can be used to raise illegal campaign funds or take bribes.
Lawmakers would also not get paid if a parliamentary session does not open on time or if they are
absent from a session in progress. Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.