Senate bill gives government one year to write clear regulations

"Any time we make it easier for folks to access and understand government information that's a good thing," McCaskill said. "Accountability in government shouldn't require folks to have to navigate the weeds of bureaucracy in order to get the most basic information.

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"This bill is a simple way to lose the jargon and shine more sunlight on our democracy, as well as better hold government officials accountable."

Under the bill, agencies would be required to put one person in charge of overseeing implementation of the new writing requirement, and would have to "train employees of the agency to write regulations using plain writing." Agencies would also have to release a report each year on how they are implementing the new requirement, although the bill imposes no conditions on the writing style used in these reports.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would also have to report on how well the agencies are doing, including by conducting a survey on how well people can interpret regulations. As part of this, GAO must judge "the satisfaction of each respondent with the plain writing used in each regulation, focusing on whether the regulation uses writing that is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and intended audience of the regulation."