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Members of the House of Lords discussed the second reading of the Northern Ireland Assembly Members Bill on 1 December. The Bill addresses salaries, allowances and pensions for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Second reading is the first opportunity for Members of the Lords to debate the main principles and purpose of the Bill and to flag up concerns and areas where they think changes (amendments) are needed.
The Government minister, spokesperson or Member of the Lords responsible for the Bill opens the debate.
Any Member can speak in the debate so this stage can indicate those Members particularly interested in the Bill - or a particular aspect of it - and those who are most likely to be involved in amending the Bill at later stages.
Second reading debates usually last for a few hours but sometimes stretch over a couple of days.
After second reading the Bill goes to committee stage - where detailed line by line examination of the Bill and discussion of amendments takes place. The first day of committee stage on this Bill is yet to be scheduled.
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