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(How-to Handout for AZ voters) How you can support the Plain Regulations Act

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Brief, word document describing what you can do to help move the Plain Regulations Act out of committee toward becoming a law.

Includes sample text for letters you can write to your Senators and Representatives.

There is an accompanying presentation (that you can also swipe) describing what the bill is and how you will benefit it it passes.

Published in: News & Politics
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(How-to Handout for AZ voters) How you can support the Plain Regulations Act

  1. 1. How you help get the Plain Regulations Act through Congress 1. Write letters to your Senators and Representatives saying a. Plain language helps everyone. It helps … Individuals citizens byreducing the administrative burden when you do business with the government. … Organizations and businessesbymaking it easier (and less expensive!) to understand and comply with the laws. … People in Americaunderstand what our elected officials are really doing in Washington. b. Plain language saves money c. Please co-sponsor the Plain Regulations Act (HR 1557 or S807) Handwritten letters sent to Washington have the greatest impact. There are two sample letters below. 2. Make a list of all of the groups you belong to (your business, the company you work for, church, alumni groups, special interest groups, political action groups.) If you can represent any of the organizations you listed, write a second, separate letter on behalf of the organization/business. 3. Send electronic copies of one your letters to the sponsors of the bill and the Center for Plain Language. (Hints: If you wrote a hand written letter, take a snap with your cell phone and send that. If you put a cc: list at the bottom of your letter, you only need to email one copy.) Email to: Elizabeth_Herman@mccaskill.senate.gov (Elizabeth Herman, McCaskill Staffer) robert.goldsmith@mail.house.gov (Robert Goldsmity, Braley Staffer) letters@centerforplainlanguage.org (Annetta Cheek, Center for Plain Language Chair) 4. Ask your friends to do this too. Hint: Share this document with them so they know what to do…or give a presentation – even this one! You can download it here: http://www.slideshare.net/kstraub/how-to- support-the-plain-regulations-act-hr-1557-s-807
  2. 2. Dear I’m writing to urge you to co-sponsor [HR 1557 or Senate, S 807] Plain Regulations Act. Requiring the government to communicate clearly will reduce citizen and agency administrative burdens and save taxpayer money. People think that the public never really sees the language of regulations. But, when Federal employees create documents to help the public understand laws and regulations, they often quote the regulatory language directly. The language of some laws is so complicated, federal employees are afraid that by paraphrasing, they will misinterpret the rule themselves. As a result, language intended for lawyers trickles down into documents used by the American public. In addition, poorly written regulations cost taxpayers (me!) money: 1. Citizens need lawyers, accountants and other technical experts to understand and comply with federal regulations. 2. When regulatory language is hard to understand, people make more mistakes trying to comply. When people make mistakes, federal staffers have to spend more time processing documents. Documents may end up being processed, rejected, resubmitted and processed again due to simple misunderstandings. If, instead, regulations were written in plain language, people would know what to do and how to do it confidently the first time. Everyone will save time and money. Everyone will feel better about their government. Finally, as a citizen, I have a right to understand what my government is doing. If you wrote regulations in plain language regulations, I would understand more. Plain language is an important, bi-partisan issue that will help everyone. Please co-sponsor this effort to get the government to communicate clearly to citizens. Sincerely, CC: John McCain, US Senate Jeff Flake, US Senate (YOUR REPRESENTATIVE), US House of Representatives Paul Gossar, House Oversight Committee Clair McCaskill, Sponsor, Senate Bill 807 (c/o Elizabeth_Herman@mccaskill.senate.gov) Bruce Braley, Sponsor, HR 1557 (c/o Robert.Goldsmith@mail.house.gov) Annetta Cheek, Chair, Center for Plain Language (letters@centerforplainlanguage.org)
  3. 3. Dear (Insert the name of your congressman), I’m writing to urge you to co-sponsor the Plain Regulations Act (S 807 or HR 1557). As (REPLACE WITH---as a business owner, the secretary for … , a member of …, … DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP ROLES IN ANY GROUP YOU BELONG --), I am affected by many different federal regulations, such as(REPLACE WITH --complex tax rules, challenging new health care requirements, DESCRIBE ANY REGULATIONS THAT APPLY TO YOUR ORGANIZATION-- ) Regulations written in plain language would decrease my burden in two ways: 1. I would understand the laws and how to comply. While I may not agree with all the regulations that affect me, I want to follow the law.Some regulations are so complicated that I’m never confident that I am in compliance. Regulations in plain language would help feel confident I’m doing the things I need to. 1. It would cost my organization less to comply. Complying with the regulations is a major burden on my business. In many cases, I have to use accountants, benefits coordinators, attorneys, and others to help me comply with my federal obligations. I urge you to co-sponsor the Plain Regulations Act so that I can understand the laws that apply to my organization and to comply efficiently. The act will make Federal regulatory programs more effective while decreasing burdens on the regulated public. Sincerely, CC: John McCain, US Senate & Ranking Member, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Jeff Flake, US Senate Darrell Issa, Chair. House Committee on Oversight Tom Carper, Chair, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Paul Gossar, House Oversight Committee (YOUR REPRESENTATIVE), US House of Representatives Clair McCaskill, Sponsor, Senate Bill 807 (c/o Elizabeth_Herman@mccaskill.senate.gov) Bruce Braley, Sponsor, HR 1557 (c/o Robert.Goldsmith@mail.house.gov) Annetta Cheek, Chair, Center for Plain Language (letters@centerforplainlanguage.org)
  4. 4. Washington addresses for Arizona delegation Senators John McCain 241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-0303 Jeff Flake 368 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-0305 Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (District 1) 330 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0301 Ron Barber (District 2) 1029 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0302 Raul M. Grijalva (District 3) 1511 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0303 Paul A. Gosar (District 4) 504 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0304 Matt Salmon (District 5) 2349 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0305 David Schweikert (District 6) 1205 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0306 Ed Pastorn(District 7) 2465 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0307 Trent Franks (District 8) 2435 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0308 Kyrsten Sinema (District 9) 1237 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0309 For more information Email Annetta Cheek (Chair, Center for Plain Language) alcplain@gmail.com o Visit http://centerforplainlanguage.org/resources/plain-regulations-act/ o Downloadable sample letters: o From an individual - http://centerforplainlanguage.org/letter-from- individual/ o From a business - http://centerforplainlanguage.org/letter-from-business- person/ The presentation you saw at the meeting is here: http://www.slideshare.net/kstraub/plain-regulationsact-overviewfinal-24939218

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