Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

Your Comments Are Power

We call, we write, and we send emails to our representatives. But many of the regulatory alterations happen within the federal agencies in charge of them, and it is there that we can stop them before the Congress gets a chance to put them into law. One piece of their process for making decisions about regulatory changes is taking public comments on their proposals. There are always a large number of rules soliciting comments. Here are a few happening now.

Overtime Pay

President Trump’s secretary of labor Tom Perez thinks the overtime rule is too generous to workers and now has taken the first step to revise the rule, with an eye toward denying working people pay raises. Here’s some background on the issue.

Leave a comment for the Department of Labor and tell it to fully implement the overtime pay rule. Comments open until September 25th. 

Civil Rights in Schools

Since When Are Civil Rights ‘Burdensome’?! For those of us who make a habit of treating people fairly regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, country of origin, or ability status, following guidance that protects equal opportunity for all students doesn’t seem particularly onerous. For the Trump administration, however, respecting and enforcing students’ civil rights is apparently quite burdensome.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to get rid of rules that prevent schools from discriminating on the basis of gender, race, national origin, and disability. These rules, many of which have existed since the 1960s and 1970s, guarantee that all students have equal access to educational opportunities. Here’s some background.

Tell the Trump Administration: Keep all current civil rights regulations and guidance in place. Comment here. 

Emission Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), opened a public comment period on the reconsideration of the January 2017 Final Determination for greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years (MY) 2022-2025.

In March 2017, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the Trump administration’s decision to revisit the Midterm Evaluation Process, which was established as a part of the 2012 final greenhouse-gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025. Here’s some background.  (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0827 and/or Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0068) Comment here.

 

And if you’re interested in other Public Comments currently being solicited, go to the Federal Register page for a full list. It’s kind of fascinating that there are so many ways we can make ourselves heard. Also, the Regulations.gov page is chock full of info on what all the agencies are up to in terms of rules and regulations.