You probably are aware of NRCA's fight to pass association
health plan legislation or create an energy plan, but you may not
be aware of the enormous influence NRCA has had on regulatory
reform, changing the process by which federal agencies write and
implement regulations. Since the inception of NRCA's Washington,
D.C., office in 1990, the pursuit of regulatory reform has been a
top priority, and there have been many victories in the ensuing
years. Following are several examples.
In 1996, Congress passed the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), which strengthened the
Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, or Reg Flex. The law
essentially requires agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA), to take into account regulations'
effects on small businesses to avoid imposing unnecessary burdens.
NRCA led support for SBREFA's passage, which came in time to help
thwart OSHA's ergonomics standard. SBREFA also influenced OSHA's
decision in December 2002 to withdraw its proposed safety and
health program standard, an enormous set of regulations that would
have applied to every aspect of roofing work.
On Aug. 13, 2002, President Bush took an important step to
bolster SBREFA when he signed Executive Order 13272, which requires
federal agencies to protect small businesses when writing rules and
regulations. Agencies were ordered to submit their plans about how
they account for small business in their rulemaking process to the
Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. Agencies now
also must submit proposed rules to the Office of Advocacy before
publication and are required to consider the Office of Advocacy's
comments, which will reflect small-business views, when a rule is
finalized. This could be vitally important to NRCA contractor
members if OSHA reopens its...
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