Landscape services companies are stewards of the environment, helping local communities to enhance and maintain the health and beauty of their green spaces. These companies also provide U.S. jobs and contribute to the local and national economy. As the American population ages and the economy recovers, the demand for landscape services is expected to increase. Landscape companies will continue to grow and add jobs and, like all businesses, need regulatory certainty and ease of compliance in order to operate efficiently and effectively. [Pictured: Joy Diaz, Land Care Inc., Nevada, with her son, Joshua, with Sen. Dan Heller (R-NV)]
PLANET members believe that the regulatory process in the United States is in need of a major overhaul. Given that this process has not been significantly updated in more than 50 years, our industry has experienced rising regulatory compliance costs. For example, federal rules that create compliance uncertainty increase the cost of production, which in turn impacts our ability to hire new workers and invest in our businesses so we can continue to hire more workers.
PLANET, therefore, suggests two bills recently introduced in Congress and both titled the "Regulatory Accountability Act of 2013," H.R. 2122, which was introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Goodlatte and co-sponsored by Reps. Collin Peterson, Lamar Smith, Bill Owens, Howard Coble, Kurt Schrader and Spencer Bachus, would greatly improve the quality of the federal rulemaking process. We also support a companion Senate Bill, S. 1029, introduced by Sen. Rob Portman and co-sponsored by Sens. Pryor, Nelson, Cornyn, Manchin, Ayotte, King and Johanns.
Federal regulatory processes are largely governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, which has not been revised in 66 years. This Regulatory Accountability Act of 2013 would attempt to modernize the Administrative Procedure Act by improving the process by which federal agencies promulgate regulations. Improvements to this process will result in improved accountability and integrity of the rulemaking process. The legislation would ensure that federal regulators base their regulatory decisions on solid information, that the regulatory process is more transparent, and that agencies become more accountable to the public.