This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


It was a newsy week, with Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement, along with some big Supreme Court decisions, including the Janus decision regarding public sector unions; CEI’s Trey Kovacs has plenty to say about that. Meanwhile, the 2018 Federal Register passed the 30,000-page mark and new rules are on pace to exceed last year’s total. Agencies passed new regulations ranging from changing babies to telehealth.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 96 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 77 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 45 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,667 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,308 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,393 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,283 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 30,773 pages. It is on pace for 61,058 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, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations is $319.1 million.
  • Agencies have published 54 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 277 new rules affect small businesses; 15 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

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