Plain Writing legislative history:  

   Comparisons of Bill Versions
   Legislative History
   Media's Response: Blogs, etc.
   Historical Bibliography

Government use of plain language editing software:  

   stylewriterforgovernment

 | Plain Writing Assoc. Projects | Plain Writing Supplies & Resources | About Plain Writing Association | Contact | 


Plain Writing Legislation: A Comparison of Bills

About | House Plain Language Bills, 2007-2010 | Senate Plain Language Bills, 2007-2010 |
  HR 3548, all versions HR 946, Version #1 HR 946, Version #2 HR 946, Version #3 HR 946, Version #4 

A Project of the Plain Writing Association


House bill 946 (H.R. 946)
111th Congress
Plain Writing Act of 2010
Version #2, Committed to the Whole House March 11, 2010
Click here to go directly to the bill (below).

About Version #2

Version #2 (below) represents the version of H.R. 946 that was reported out of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform with amendments on March 11, 2010, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union (placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 248).

The Oversight committee, chaired by Edolphus Towns (NY-10), had met in open session for consideration and mark-up on March 4, 2010.

(For a history of the legislative process by which the various plain language bills struggled through Congress and ultimately resulted in passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, see the Legislative History project of the Plain Writing Association by clicking here. The project also gives more details about the amendments made to the various versions.)

NOTE

     For purposes of this project, the Version #1 is the introduced version and any susequently reported versions, provided that they added no amendments. Version #2 is the amended version of Version #1; and so on. Thus, Version #3 would be an amended version of Version #2; and Version #4 would be an amended version of Version #3. In short, as long as a version of a bill does not change (for example, from the time it's introduced to the time it's reported out of a committee), it is treated as a single version.

     Each bill shown has indications of what material is different from the previous bill shown. Red with overstrike is what was in previous one but not in current one; green is what is in current but not in the previous one. These proofreading-like marks provide an excellent sense of the thinking that went into the process of revision and markup from one version to the next; this is not meant to suggest, however, that the actual revision necessarily utilized only the immediately preceding version.

      Sources of original versions include GovTrack.us and Thomas.LOC.gov


Scroll down to the bill (farther below).
P.W.A. PROJECTS

Plain Writing Association / Plain Writing Act / 
plain English star Plain Writing Legislation: A Comparison of Bills
      — This Project of the Plain Writing Association uses proofreading marks and side-by-side comparisons to show how the various versions of the major plain writing bills of the last few years evolved into the Plain Writing Act of 2010. (MORE)

Plain Writing Association / Plain Writing Act / 
plain English star Plain Writing Legislative History
      — This Project of the Plain Writing Association presents a legislative history of the passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, documenting the process by which failed plain-writing legislation in the 110th and 111th Congresses ultimately led to the Act. (MORE)

Plain Writing Association / Plain Writing Act / 
plain English star Government Use of Plain Language Editing Software
      — This Project of the Plain Writing Association is a separate website (writersupercenter.com/stylewriterforgovernment) which advocates the use of the ground-breaking plain-English editing software known as StyleWriter Software to assist government in writing more clearly and concisely, in compliance with the Plain Writing Act. (MORE)

Plain Writing Association / Plain Writing Act / 
plain English star The Media's Response to Plain Writing Legislative Efforts
      — This ongoing Project of the Plain Writing Association attempts to document the media's response to the legislative efforts leading to the Plain Writing Act of 2010.  Focusing mainly on the period from 2007 to 2010, the Project, arranged chronologically, presents links to articles and posts in blogs, newspapers, and other periodicals. (MORE)

Plain Writing Association / Plain Writing Act / 
plain English star A Historical Bibliography of the Plain Language Movement
      — This ongoing Project of the Plain Writing Association presents links to articles that cover the main categories of the history of the plain language movement within American government. (MORE)

A BILL

To enhance citizen access to Government information and services by establishing that Government documents issued to the public must be written clearly, and for other purposes.

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
       This Act may be cited as the ‘Plain Language Writing Act of 2009 2010’.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.
       The purpose of this Act is to improve the effectiveness and accountability of Federal agencies to the public by promoting clear Government communication that the public can understand and use.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
       In this Act:
     (1) AGENCY.—The term ‘agency’ means an Executive agency, as defined under section 105 of title 5, United States Code.
     (2) COVERED DOCUMENT.—The term ‘covered document’—
     (A) means any document (other than a regulation) issued by an agency to the public, including documents and other text released in electronic form. that—
  
   Bill Comparisons
H.R. 946, 111th Congress
(SECOND PLAIN LANG. BILL IN HOUSE;
ULTIMATELY BECAME LAW)

Version #2
3/11/2010


Switch to:
Previous (earlier ver. of this bill)
or Next (subsequent ver.)

(switch to Senate bill of app. same date)

  Markups here indicate difference  
between this version and
  previous House version.  

red with strike-through = deleted
green = newly added

   Legislative History
   Media's Response
   Use of Editing Software
     (i) is relevant to obtaining any Federal Government benefit or service or filing taxes;
     (ii) provides information about any Federal Government benefit or service; or
     (iii) explains to the public how to comply with a requirement the Federal Government administers or enforces;
     (B) includes (whether in paper or electronic form) a letter, publication, form, notice, or instruction; and
     (C) does not include a regulation.

     (3) PLAIN LANGUAGE WRITING.—The term ‘plain language writing’ means writing that the intended audience can readily understand and use because that writing is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing.
SEC. 4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF FEDERAL AGENCIES.
       (a) PREPARATION FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF PLAIN WRITING REQUIREMENTS.
     (1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the head of each agency shall—
     (A) designate 1 or more senior officials within the agency to oversee the agency implementation of this Act;
     (B) communicate the requirements of this Act to the employees of the agency;
     (C) train employees of the agency in plain writing;
     (D) establish a process for overseeing the ongoing compliance of the agency with the requirements of this Act;
     (E) create and maintain a plain writing section of the agency’s website that is accessible from the homepage of the agency’s website; and
     (F) designate 1 or more agency points-of-contact to receive and respond to public input on—

  
   Bill Comparisons
H.R. 946, 111th Congress
(SECOND PLAIN LANG. BILL IN HOUSE;
ULTIMATELY BECAME LAW)

Version #2
3/11/2010


Switch to:
Previous (earlier ver. of this bill)
or Next (subsequent ver.)

(switch to Senate bill of app. same date)

  Markups here indicate difference  
between this version and
  previous House version.  

red with strike-through = deleted
green = newly added

   Legislative History
   Media's Response
   Use of Editing Software
     (i) agency implementation of this Act; and
     (ii) the agency reports required under section 5.
     (2) WEBSITE.—The plain writing section described under paragraph (1)(E) shall—
     (A) inform the public of agency compliance with the requirements of this Act; and
     (B) provide a mechanism for the agency to receive and respond to public input on—
     (i) agency implementation of this Act; and
     (ii) the agency reports required under section 5.

       (a)(b) REQUIREMENT TO USE PLAIN LANGUAGE WRITING IN NEW DOCUMENTS.Beginning Nnot later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, each agency shall use plain language writing in any every covered document of the agency that the agency issued issues or substantially revised revises.
       (b)(c) GUIDANCE.
     (1) IN GENERAL.(A) Development- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall develop and issue guidance on implementing the requirements of subsection (a) this section. The Director may designate a lead agency, and may use interagency working groups to assist in developing and issuing the guidance.
     (B) ISSUANCE.—The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall issue the guidance developed under subparagraph (A) to agencies as a circular.
     (2) INTERIM GUIDANCE.—Before the issuance of guidance under paragraph (1), agencies may follow the guidance of—
     (A) the writing guidelines developed by the Plain Language Action and Information Network; or
     (B) guidance provided by the head of the agency that is consistent with the guidelines referred to under in subparagraph (A).
SEC. 5. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.
       (a) INITIAL REPORT.—Not later than 6 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the head of each agency shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives a report that describes how the agency intends to meet the following objectives:
     (1) Communicating the requirements of this Act to agency employees.
     (2) Training agency employees in plain writing.
     (3) Meeting the requirement under section 4(a).
     (4) Ensuring ongoing compliance with the requirements of this Act.
     (5) Designating a senior official to be responsible for implementing the requirements of this Act.
     (6) Using, to the extent practicable and appropriate, plain language in regulations promulgated by the agency.

  
   Bill Comparisons
H.R. 946, 111th Congress
(SECOND PLAIN LANG. BILL IN HOUSE;
ULTIMATELY BECAME LAW)

Version #2
3/11/2010


Switch to:
Previous (earlier ver. of this bill)
or Next (subsequent ver.)

(switch to Senate bill of app. same date)

  Markups here indicate difference  
between this version and
  previous House version.  

red with strike-through = deleted
green = newly added

   Legislative History
   Media's Response
   Use of Editing Software
publish on the plain writing section of the agency’s website a report that describes the agency plan for compliance with the requirements of this Act.
       (b) ANNUAL COMPLIANCE REPORT.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the head of each agency shall publish on the plain writing section of the agency’s website a report on agency compliance with the requirements of this Act.
       (b) ANNUAL AND OTHER REPORTS.
     (1) AGENCY REPORTS.
     (A) IN GENERAL.—The head of each agency shall submit reports on compliance with this Act to the Office of Management and Budget.
     (B) SUBMISSION REPORTS.—The Office of Management and Budget shall notify each agency of the date each report under subparagraph (A) is required for submission to enable the Office of Management and Budget to meet the requirements of paragraph (2).
     (2) REPORTS TO CONGRESS.—The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall review agency reports submitted under paragraph (1) using the guidance issued under section 4(b)(1)(B) and submit a report on the progress of agencies to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives—
     (A) annually for the first 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act; and
     (B) once every 3 years thereafter.

SEC. 6. JUDICIAL REVIEW AND ENFORCEABILITY.
       (a) JUDICIAL REVIEW.—There shall be no judicial review of compliance or noncompliance with any provision of this Act.
       (b) ENFORCEABILITY.—No provision of this Act shall be construed to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any administrative or judicial action.



Plain Writing Legislation: A Comparison of Bills

About | House Plain Language Bills, 2007-2010 | Senate Plain Language Bills, 2007-2010 |
  HR 3548, all versions HR 946, Version #1 HR 946, Version #2 HR 946, Version #3 HR 946, Version #4 

A Project of the Plain Writing Association

Copyright © 2010-2011 Plain Writing Association