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Regulatory flexibility bill is approved by House committee


From the September 30, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published September 30, 2013

By Jeannine Anderson
Editor
H.R. 2542, a bill that aims to strengthen the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, was approved Sept. 18 by the House Small Business Committee. 

The legislation "would update the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), a law that requires certain federal agencies to account for the impact of regulation on small businesses and utilities," APPA President and CEO Mark Crisson said in a Sept. 18 letter to committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo.

 APPA "applauds this bipartisan legislation, which would reform the regulatory process to ensure that all federal agencies, including independent federal agencies, consider the impact of their rules on small businesses and small electric utilities," Crisson said. "This bill is a good faith effort to bring some regulatory certainty to the RFA process."

Many rules that have significant impacts on small entities and small electric utilities "are not covered by the RFA because the small entities adversely impacted are not directly regulated," Crisson said. "This needed legislation fixes this problem. This bill requires federal agencies to consider indirect economic impacts [that] will show the true costs these regulations have on small businesses and small electric utilities."

"Unfortunately, many federal agencies have turned this worthwhile process into a 'check the box' exercise and often avoid many of the RFA’s requirements," he said. "This bill will no longer allow this to happen."

H.R. 2542 is called the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act. The next step for the measure is a vote on the House floor.
 

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