Summary: S.981 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (05/11/1998)

Regulatory Improvement Act of 1998 - Provides for the analysis of major rules by Federal agencies. Defines a "major rule" as one that is likely to: (1) have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in quantifiable costs; or (2) affect the economy or a sector of the economy adversely.

Requires agencies to issue regulatory analyses for major rules which include: (1) cost-benefit analyses, including for regulatory alternatives; (2) risk assessments; (3) scientific or economic information relied upon in cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments; and (4) any scientific information on substitution risks to health, safety, or the environment.

Directs agency heads who select a rule that is unlikely to provide benefits that justify its costs or to achieve the rulemaking objective in a more cost-effective manner or with greater net benefits to provide an explanation for such selection.

Authorizes a major rule to be adopted without prior compliance with regulatory analysis requirements if the agency: (1) finds that conducting such analysis before the rule becomes effective is impracticable or contrary to an important public interest; and (2) publishes the rule in the Federal Register with such finding and an explanation of the reasons for the finding.

Directs each agency to develop a process to permit elected State, local, and tribal government officers to provide input in the development of regulatory proposals that contain significant Federal intergovernmental mandates.

Requires agencies to design and conduct risk assessments for: (1) major rules the primary purpose of which is to address health, safety, or environmental risk; or (2) risk assessments that are not the basis of a rulemaking that are anticipated to have a substantial impact on a significant public policy or on the economy. Describes requirements for risk assessments.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) peer review of cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments; (2) deadlines for rulemaking; (3) judicial review; and (4) guidelines, interagency coordination, and research.

Mandates a comparative risk analysis study by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, acting through the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Requires agencies to publish schedules at least every five years for the review of previously promulgated economically significant rules. Defines an "economically significant rule" as a rule that is likely to: (1) have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in quantifiable costs; or (2) affect the economy or a sector of the economy adversely.

Directs the: (1) President to establish a process for the review and coordination of Federal agency regulatory actions; and (2) Director to establish procedures for public and agency access to information concerning review of regulatory actions.

Amends the Regulatory Flexibility Act to revise requirements for the periodic review of rules with a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Requires agencies to submit plans for periodic review of such rules to the Administrator and the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration every five years.

(Sec. 4) Provides that compliance with regulatory analysis requirements of this Act shall constitute compliance with requirements pertaining to the costs and benefits of Federal mandates to the private sector under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

(Sec. 5) Makes this Act inapplicable to any agency rule for which a notice of proposed rulemaking is published on or before 60 days before this Act's enactment date.