Reg Watch

• The Federal Election Commission is seeking comment on a rule that would amend “corporate and labor organization funding of expenditures, independent expenditures and electioneering communications” in the wake of the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The measure would remove certain regulations that are no longer applicable in the wake of that ruling. One change would include “eliminating the prohibitions … on the use of corporate and labor organization general treasury funds to finance independent expenditures and electioneering communications.” The rule is open for comment through Feb. 3.

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• The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would “allow the manufacturer of a cigarette or smokeless tobacco product with a trade or brand name that is also the trade or brand name of a nontobacco product to continue to use the name if the tobacco product was sold in the United States on or before June 22, 2009.” The rule that would be changed was put in place in 1996 and was intended to keep tobacco and nontobacco products separate in order to prevent exploitation by the manufacturer of the “imagery or consumer identification attached to the nontobacco product to make the tobacco product appeal to young people.” The rule is open for comment through Jan. 31. 

• The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board has reopened the comment period for a proposed rule that would keep pedestrian facilities accessible for people with disabilities. The rule would create guidelines to “ensure that sidewalks, pedestrian street crossings, pedestrian signals and other facilities for pedestrian circulation and use constructed in or altered in the public right-of-way … are readily accessible to and usable by pedestrians with disabilities.” Comments are due for the proposed rule by Feb. 2.

• The Federal Aviation Administration has created a proposed rule to change “the airworthiness standards for airplane propellers.” The new specifics of what a “propeller critical part is,” among other changes, should “ensure the continued airworthiness of propeller critical parts by requiring a system of processes to identify and manage these parts throughout their service life.” The proposal, which is open for comments through Jan. 30, is also intended to simplify “airworthiness approvals for exports” by “eliminat[ing] regulatory differences” between the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

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