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Category Archives: Legislation

So you want to comment on a regulation? Here’s how

How to effectively comment on regulations. August 2018. Adam Looney, Director, Center on Regulation and Markets, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution.
“The Trump administration has made its deregulatory agenda clear since inauguration day. The administration’s actions have ranged from sweeping rollbacks of major rules that have garnered media attention, to smaller orders and guidance withdrawals instructing agencies to ignore previous rules. Brookings’ has been keeping track of these actions, big and small. While you may have heard of some, such as proposals to roll back the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, others have received relatively little attention despite having big impacts on regulation and the federal government’s role. These changes have been both lauded and criticized by relevant constituencies. Whether you support or oppose ongoing regulatory changes, Americans have the right to participate in the regulatory process and to comment on these proposed rules. Agencies are required to solicit, take seriously, and respond to comments from the public, and typically open a comment period of 30 to 60 days after announcing a proposed rule to accept comments. Effective comments can and do influence the rulemaking process. However, few people take advantage of the opportunity to comment, and even fewer comment effectively. Comments influence rules only to the extent that they bring forth relevant facts, evidence, and insights to rule makers. So how can you comment on proposed rules? As a former civil servant and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, I’ve seen both sides of the rulemaking process—both in developing and enacting rules and offering input on how to improve these rules. Through that process, I’ve gained insight into what is helpful and what isn’t, but have also been frustrated that information on how to make a comment is hard to find or unclear. Drawing on advice from colleagues and the experiences of regulatory experts, this how-to guide outlines why commenting is important, what information is important to include, and how to write and submit a comment. The guide describes what information your comment should include, how to structure your comment, where to find rules under comment, what information is helpful, and more.”

United States Legislative Markup XML

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is collaborating with the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Office of the Federal Register on parallel projects to convert a subset of enrolled bills, public laws, the Statutes at Large, the Federal Register, and the… Continue Reading

“Stand Your Ground” Laws Have Failed to Stem Crime or Improve Safety

Rockefeller Institute- Robert J. Spitzer “Many knowledgeable Florida political observers were shocked when the state legislature passed, and Republican Governor Rick Scott signed in March, a modest gun-control measure that included raising the purchase age for firearms from eighteen to twenty-one, banning bump stocks, and giving police greater power to seize weapons from those deemed… Continue Reading

Comparing Men and Women in Parliament – data analysis about gender representation

The Pudding – What 1.2 million parliamentary speeches can teach us about gender representation. “100 Years of Women in the House of Commons – This year marks a century since some women in the United Kingdom were awarded the right to vote in and stand for elections. Since then, 490 different women have represented their… Continue Reading

National Parks Conservation Association Map of Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species

“National parks are places where plants and animals have the opportunity to thrive. While this site provides detailed information on species in a few national parks across the National Park System, this map shows all national parks that, based on our methodology, provide habitat for threatened and endangered species. Explore the map or use the… Continue Reading

Gun Law TrendWatch 2018 Mid-Year Review

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence: “In 2018, a new wave of youth-led activism has spurred sweeping gun safety reforms across the nation. Mass shootings, far too common in our country, are often the catalysts for safer gun laws. After a gunman used a bump stock to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of… Continue Reading

GAO – Only One-Quarter of Agencies Publishing Timely, Accurate Spending Data

NextGov: “Eight agencies submitted financial data that was more than 75 percent wrong. Nearly three-quarters of federal agencies failed to meet internal auditors’ quality standards when publishing financial data, according to a congressional watchdog. Under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, agencies must use a standard framework when submitting quarterly spending data to the Treasury… Continue Reading

Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for July 2018

In Custodia Legis – LC: “We just passed the two year anniversary of when THOMAS was retired to make way for Congress.gov.  Robert recently shared our second set of enhancements that we had for Congress.gov in June. One area where we have focused is on enhancing committee data.  With this release we are adding a legislative interest column… Continue Reading

Trump administration seeks to roll back Endangered Species Act

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) jointly propose revisions to regulations that implement portions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In 2017, we sought public input on how the Federal government can improve upon the regulatory framework. We received substantial input… Continue Reading

House Cmte panel approves bill to expedite fed firings

FCW.com: “The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee advanced a bill that would make it easier to fire federal employees. The Modern Employment Reform, Improvement and Transformation Act, introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), would allow the head of an agency to remove a federal employee “if the head determines the performance or misconduct of… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About California’s New Data Privacy Law

Harvard Business Review: “Late last month, California passed a sweeping consumer privacy law that might force significant changes on companies that deal in personal data — and especially those operating in the digital space. The law’s passage comes on the heels of a few days of intense negotiation among privacy advocates, technology startups, network providers, Silicon… Continue Reading

Draft Bill – Trump Administration abandons foundation of WTO

“Axios has obtained a leaked draft of a Trump administration bill [scroll down to see the text of the bill embedded in this article as referenced] — ordered by the president himself — that would declare America’s abandonment of fundamental World Trade Organization rules. The draft legislation is stunning. The bill essentially provides Trump a… Continue Reading