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Proposed Bill Wants All Regulations in Plain Language

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Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) has proposed a bill to extend the Plain Language Act to all federal regulations, Federal News Radio reports.

Since October, agencies have been required to write their publications in language the general public can understand.

In January, the Office of Management and Budget asked agencies to include executive summaries at the top of proposed regulations to ensure the material was easy to understand.

“You shouldn’t have to have an accountant and a lawyer to explain to you every regulation that impacts your business,” Braley said to Federal News Radio.

Braley, who sponsored the Plain Language Act, said his bill would give agencies a year to implement the proposed changes to the plain writing law. Braley said small businesses in particular would benefit from clearer published regulations.

The Internal Revenue Service are taking steps toward creating material that is more clear, according to Federal News Radio. Braley said the IRS has designated ten plain language coordinators and required 95,000 employees to take a plain writing course.

“So far, they have over 2,400 documents that are covered by the Plain Writing Act, and they estimate that 400 of those documents will be rewritten within the next 12 months,” Braley said.

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