On the day federal income taxes are due, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) has reintroduced the Plain Regulations Act to streamline government regulations in an effort to save small businesses time and money. This legislation would require the government to write new and updated regulations in clear, simple, easy-to-understand language. Braley first introduced the bill in 2012.
The costs to small businesses of complying with government regulations are significant. The National Small Business Association has estimated that businesses with less than 20 employees pay an estimated $7,600 per employee to comply with regulations.
"Confusing, hard-to-understand regulations written in government legalese waste businesses' time and money," Braley said. "If we expect small businesses to follow the rules, let's at least make sure the rules are easy to understand.
"The Plain Regulations Act would simplify government rules and regulations, saving small businesses time and freeing up money that can be better used investing in growing the business and creating jobs. Simplifying regulations won't eliminate costs of compliance, but it will reduce them. It's a common sense idea that can save small businesses money that can quickly attract bipartisan support."
Examples of lengthy, overly complex regulations can be found at every level of the federal government. Last year, as part of the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services published a 189 page rule outlining the requirements for doctors to form Accountable Care Organizations. Doctors have complained that the regulations are too complex and convoluted for them to understand.
Braley is known for his efforts to simplify government writing. In 2007, Braley launched a three-year effort to require the government to write forms and documents like tax returns in easy-to-understand language with the introduction of the Plain Writing Act. The bill was signed into law by President Obama in 2010, and improves the accountability of the federal government by promoting clear communication that the public can understand and use. The law went into effect in July of 2011.
Federal taxes are due today, April 15th, and all week, Braley will highlight efforts to hold the government accountable, focusing on bringing greater accountability to government and highlighting tools to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.
Full text of the Plain Regulations Act can be found at the following link: http://1.usa.gov/ZsBrJi