The delayed State of the Union speech happened on Tuesday, but contained no surprises on the policy front. The length of the Federal Register doubled this week, as did the number of final regulations and agency notices, an unusual occurrence for February. The number of new final regulations on the year also hit the 100 mark on Thursday and exceeded it on Friday, with new rules for the week ranging from arts penalties to “civil disturbance intervention.”
On to the data:
- Last week, 73 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 34 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 18 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 123 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 1,139 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 760 notices, for a total of 1,363 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 12,621 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
- Last week, 934 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 211 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 3,091 pages. It is on pace for 28,621 pages. The 2018 total was 68,082 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such rule has been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $139.1 million to $175.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published four final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 15 new rules affect small businesses; two of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, with 29 of them significant.
All of last week’s new final regulations:
- Reformulated gasoline in the Cincinnati area.
- A correction to an energy conservation rule for furnace fans.
- The Food Safety and Inspection Services is removing some unnecessary rules for cleaning hog carcasses.
- The Environmental Protection Agency has approved an air plan for Illinois.
- A tax increase on raisins made from California-grown grapes.
- A tax decrease on Florida-grown oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and pummelos.
- Phonorecord royalties.
- There is a federal mentor-protégé program for small business concerns.
- The National Endowment for the Arts has the authority to inflict civil penalties. A new regulation adjusts them for inflation.
- There is a National Honey Board, in accordance with the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order. A new regulation governs the Board’s membership requirements.
- An updated Air Force rule for disaster assistance and what it euphemistically calls “civil disturbance intervention.”
- Pollock reallocation.