This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Heraldic items GettyImages-1178819467

The rate of new coronavirus cases increased last week, adding a note of caution to tentative efforts at reopening. Regulatory agencies issued new final regulations ranging from Florida bats to heraldic items.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 53 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 71 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 10 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,374 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,013 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were also 53 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 1,019 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,235 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,184 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 410 notices, for a total of 10,071 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 22,086 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,178 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,976 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 36,137 pages. It is on pace for 79,248 pages. The 2019 total was 79,267 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. Three such rules have been published this year. Four such rules were published in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations ranges from net savings of between $1.38 billion and $4.19 billion. 2019’s total ranges from net savings of $350 million to $650 million, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact number depends on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 28 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 268 new rules affect small businesses; 11 of them are classified as significant. 2019’s totals were 501 rules affecting small businesses, with 22 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.