Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, along with colleagues from across the political spectrum, introduced the Seanad Reform Bill on the first sitting day of the Seanad in June 2016. The Seanad Reform Bill would enact long-delayed reforms to the upper house of the Oireachtas and ensure universal suffrage.
By introducing the bill at such this early point, Senator Higgins and her colleagues echoed the urgency and high demand for reform which was heard from the electorate and the general public during the campaign and during the 2013 referendum on the abolition of the Seanad. The bill would enact the reforms put forth in the Manning Report of 2015 that would note require further referendums but would extend the franchise while protecting the thematic focus of the Seanad and ensuring it plays a distinct function to the Dáil.
Senator Higgins campaigned for the retention and reform of the Seanad during the 2013 referendum and is deeply committed to delivering a more transparent, accountable and participative national house that reflects the entire nation. Implementation of the Seanad Reform Bill will go a long way to ensuring that this happens. Seanad Reform is a high priority on Senator Higgins's agenda over the coming term in office.