By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs, ARTBA

The U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 6 passed H.R. 712, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015” by a vote of 244 – 173.  The ARTBA-supported legislation is aimed at curbing the practice of “sue and settle” arrangements between anti-growth groups and federal regulatory agencies.

“Sue and settle” arrangements occur when anti-growth groups initiate litigation against a federal agency and quickly reach a settlement where new, often cumbersome, regulations are initiated on an expedited time frame.  Often, the members of the regulated community most impacted by these new rules are given no opportunity to have a voice in the crafting of the settlement.  A letter supporting H.R. 712 signed by ARTBA and 250 additional state and national association explained the legislation would “improve the ‘sue and settle’ process by requiring agencies to give early notice and take public comment on proposed settlements.”  The measure now heads to the Senate where no timetable has been given on its consideration.

The Obama Administration has threatened to veto H.R. 712.

Read ARTBA’s letter of support.