Reg Watch

Public comment periods are closing soon for the following proposed rules:

• The National Mediation Board has proposed a rule to alter regulations under the Railway Labor Act that govern “runoff elections [and] showing of interest for representation elections.” The proposed rule would no longer allow write-in options for runoff elections and instead dictate that “any runoff election will be between the two ballot options that receive the most votes [in the first election].” The new regulations also require “the Board to ‘arrange for’ a second election when no ballot option receives a majority of the ballots cast.” Comments are due by July 16.

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• The Federal Railroad Administration has published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would add certain “non-controlled” drugs to the list of substances tested for after an accident. If railroad employees are “involved in serious train accidents,” the administration conducts “post-accident toxicological testing.” Currently, the administration “tests for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP) and certain amphetamines, opiates, barbiturates and benzodiazepines.” The administration has proposed to expand that list to include “certain potentially impairing non-controlled substances” because the administration’s “research indicates that use of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, most of which are non-controlled substances, is prevalent among railroad employees.” Comments may be submitted on or before July 16.

• The Library of Congress’s Copyright Office created a notice of proposed rulemaking that would limit the definition of claimant in copyright registrations. Right now, claimant is defined to “include individuals or entities that have obtained the contractual right to claim legal title to copyright an application for copyright registration.” The office has proposed that the claimant definition should be limited to “either the author of the work, or a person or organization that has obtained ownership of all of the exclusive rights initially belonging to the author.” The office has requested any comments be submitted no later than July 16.

• The Education and Health and Human Services departments have proposed requirements for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge’s (RTT-ELC) second phase. The second phase would award “certain States that applied for, but did not receive, funding under Phase 1 of the RTT-ELC competition held in fiscal year (FY) 2011.” The top five applicants that did not win funding during Phase 1 would be considered. These applicants must meet certain requirements, such as “describ[ing] how [they] would implement the activities proposed” in the previous application, to receive up to 50 percent of the funds their initial applications requested. Comments are due July 20.