The Legislative Assembly (LA) sitting on Thursday, 23 April 2020 was the first in the history of the Cayman Islands that allowed electronic participation by MLAs.
The move was necessitated by social distancing restrictions arising from the Cayman Islands’ COVID-19 response.
With the House Speaker, Hon. McKeeva Bush unable to attend, Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin nominated veteran MLA, Mr. Anthony Eden to be the Speaker for the day. Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Arden McLean seconded the motion. There were no other nominations.
Mr. Eden presided as the Hon. Speaker. Prayer followed, led by the Leader of the Opposition.
The Premier tabled new Standing Order 91 (part of the rules by which the House governs itself) which was passed yesterday in the House Standing Orders Committee which now allows the LA to conduct public proceedings electronically.
The House also agreed to suspending relevant Standing Orders to enable dealing with bills prior to the 21 days’ notice period since their announcement.
Five bills were on the agenda today: The Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2020; the Immigration Transition (Amendment) Bill 2020, the Labour (Amendment) Bill 2020, the National Pensions (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Customs and Border Control (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The House also stood for a moment in silence to mark the passing of former MLA, Mrs. Esther Ebanks. Members paid tribute to her life and contributions to the Cayman Islands community, and offered condolences to the family.
Premier McLaughlin announced that Cayman flags in all Government buildings would fly half-mast for today and for all of tomorrow as a tribute to the late MLA.