Reg Watch

The Financial Stability Oversight Council has delayed action on new rules for money market mutual funds to allow more time for public comment.

The oversight council, which was established by the Dodd-Frank reform law, is proposing new regulations to make money market funds safer for markets and investors.

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The proposed regulations have received 50 comments so far. Banks and trade groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, JP Morgan Chase, Fidelity Investments, the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas and the University of Southern California School of Business have weighed in on the proposals.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested an extended comment period for the rules late last year. Commissioner Daniel Gallagher last week said moving forward with the reforms should be a priority for regulators.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council has 10 voting members consisting of agency heads and presidential appointees, along with five non-voting members.

Comments on the money market rules will now be accepted until Feb. 15.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. The FDA has completed a rule to clarify and streamline safety regulations for the production of “combination products.”

The agency defines the products as having more than two regulated products — such as drugs or biological products — combined into a single item. Examples include a pre-filled insulin syringe, a transdermal medicated patch or a catheter with an antimicrobial coating.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has requested a three-year extension of a program that tests cows imported from Mexico.

The cows are tested for bovine tuberculosis. The inspection service is required under the law to affirm that the testing is still necessary.


Comment periods are ending soon for the following proposed rules:


• The Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS are seeking comment on a joint proposal to enact a part of the Affordable Care Act that grants insurance awards for wellness programs in group health coverage. The proposal would specifically increase the maximum reimbursement rate for employer-provided wellness programs, from 20 percent to 30. The regulations would also increase awards for health programs that encourage people to quit smoking or using tobacco products to a 50 percent reimbursement. Comments are due by Jan. 25.

• Comment ends on Jan. 28 for a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal that would require wireless carriers to facilitate text-message service to 911 emergency centers, and ensure that the Public Safety Answering Points are prepared to receive them. The commission would also establish regulations for informing consumers about the service and creating a “bounce back” error message when the text is not transmitted to the emergency center. So far, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have committed to begin rolling out the service this year.

• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking comment on whether to remove the Southern Resident Killer Whale from the endangered species list. Last year, the agency received a petition from the Pacific Legal Foundation to delist the animal.

The petition contends that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not have the legal authority to classify the animal as endangered or threatened, as it did in 2006. The notice, which has received more than 2,000 comments, will be open for public response until Jan. 28.