Legislation Introduced to Require 'Plain Writing' for all Regulations

Posted 30 April 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could be statutorily required to use "plain writing" in all of its future regulations if a piece of proposed legislation has its way.

The proposed bill, The Plain Writing Act for Regulations of 2012, would "require that Federal regulations use plain writing to enhance public understanding of regulations" in the hopes that such language would "increase the level of public participation in the rulemaking process."

The bill, introduced in the Senate, is sponsored by Sens. McCaskill (D-MO), Collins (R-ME) and Coburn (R-OK).

Language used to compose regulations would need to be "clear, concise, well-organized" and follow other best practices suitable for the subject and intended audience. Those requirements would come into effect one year after the passage of the act, while implementation would start just six months after passage.

The legislation is extraordinarily similar to one introduced in January 2012 in the House of Representatives.  That bill, the Plain Regulations Act of 2012, was sponsored by Bruce Bradley (D-IA), and seeks to do the exact same thing at the Plain Writing Act.

Read more:

S.2337 -- Plain Writing Act for Regulations of 2012 (Introduced in Senate - IS)

Regulatory Focus - Congressman Introduces Bill To Simplify Regulations

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