Following a marathon of votes on hundreds of objections by the opposition, the Knesset overnight Wednesday approved the second and third readings of the state budget for 2015-2016, as well as the Arrangements Law.
61 coalition members voted in favor of the budget, and 59 members of the opposition voted against. The approval of the budget ensures a stable coalition until at least March of 2017.
Following the approval of the budget, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said, "The state budget which passed tonight brings truly good news for the citizens of Israel. This is a social budget which brings Israel back home, beginning with a clear purpose in which we try to give our children a better reality than we have. This is a budget that treats after many years fundamental problems in the economy and Israeli society with which it was time to deal.”
The marathon voting was stopped for more than two hours on Wednesday evening, after Minister Uri Ariel accidentally voted with the opposition on an objection related the Communications Ministry’s budget.
Due to this situation, it was decided to immediately convene again the Finance Committee to re-approve the objection, and bring it to another vote in the plenum.
Some eight members of the committee voted in favor of raising the issue again in the plenum, and seven opposed. The vote was conducted again, and the results remained the same.