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This week in the Assembly...

newsdirect wales' 60 second guide to what's going on in Cardiff Bay this week.

Twas the week before Christmas recess 

And all about the Senedd,

AMs were really busy,

Especially ones called Kenneth....

Well, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism (Ken Skates) will be replying to a debate on S4C but more of that in a mo. 

No Constitutional & Legislative Affairs Committee this week although they did publish their initial thoughts on the draft Wales Bill on Friday. (Hint: they weren't impressed).

Tuesday sees the Petitions Committee take evidence on its own operations. The Committee has become a bit of a Post Office, referring letters between Welsh Government and petitioners. Expect remarks to focus on how the Committee can do more and refer less in the next Assembly. Public Accounts Committee continue to take evidence on the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales.

On Tuesday afternoon, FMQs is followed by a double-header of the introduction of the Draft Budget 2016/17 and a debate on the General Principles of the Public Health (Wales) Bill.

Expect the Budget statement to emphasise constraints presented by the settlement received from Westminster. Discussion around the draft Bill will centre on the proposals to ban e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces: following a split on the matter within the Health & Social Care Committee last week, it has become apparent that the Government will have to seek support from Plaid in order for the Bill to proceed.

And the fun doesn't end there! AMs will then don glad rags and head to the Welsh Politician of the Year Awards. Difficult to predict who’ll be bringing home a gong. Kirsty Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire)(LD) has done some sterling work, keeping her party afloat and pushing a bill on nursing standards through, so she might be a candidate. Is it also time to recognise the Presiding Officer (Dame Rosemary Butler) before she stands down next May?

Wednesday morning has Finance Committee considering the draft Budget and Enterprise & Business Committee on business rates. 

At the last Plenary session of 2015, AMs will discuss standards in education, the importance of musical education, S4C and the possibility of a levy on sugary drinks. 

Thursday morning rounds off with Communities, Equality and Local Government conducting their annual scrutiny sessions of the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Public Services Ombudsman.

With summaries written and monitoring reports sent, Team NDW will then be turning up some Slade and singing at the top of our lungs: "It's reeeeeeeeeeecesssss." Ahem. 

Interested in coverage of any of these sessions? newsdirect is a dedicated monitoring service. We'll be reporting live all week. Give us a shout on 029 2009 0693. 

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