Summary: S.3382 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.3382. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (07/12/2012)

Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2012 - Defines a "covered civil action" as a civil action seeking to compel agency action and alleging that an agency is unlawfully withholding or unreasonably delaying an agency action relating to a regulatory action that would affect: (1) the rights of private persons other than the person bringing the action; or (2) a state, local, or tribal government. Defines a "covered settlement agreement" as: (1) a consent decree or settlement agreement entered into a covered civil action, and (2) any other consent decree or settlement agreement that requires agency action relating to such a regulatory action.

Requires an agency against which a covered civil action is brought to publish the complaint in a readily accessible manner and to provide interested parties an opportunity to intervene and to conduct settlement negotiations through mediation.

Requires an agency seeking to enter a covered settlement agreement to publish such agreement in the Federal Register and online not later than 60 days before it is filed with the court. Provides for public comment and public hearings on such agreement.

Requires the Attorney General or an agency head, if an agency is litigating a matter independently, to certify to the court that the Attorney General or the agency head approves of any proposed covered settlement agreement that includes terms that: (1) convert into a duty a discretionary authority of an agency to propose, promulgate, revise, or amend regulations; (2) commit an agency to expend funds that have not been appropriated and budgeted; (3) commit an agency to seek a particular appropriation or budget authorization; (4) divest an agency of discretion committed to it by statute or the Constitution; or (5) otherwise afford any relief that the court could not enter under its own authority.

Requires a court to grant de novo review of a covered settlement agreement if an agency files a motion to modify such agreement on the basis that its terms are no longer fully in the public interest due to the agency's obligations to fulfill other duties or due to changed facts and circumstances.