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ERIC Number: ED170722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Pages: 89
Abstractor: N/A
The Status of Plain Language Legislation in the Fifty States and President Carter's Executive Order 12044.
Grogan, Lina
A study was conducted to examine plain language legislation in the 50 states and to evaluate the progress made in simplifying government regulations as a result of President Carter's executive order mandating the use of clear language in regulations. In the first part of the study, laws and bills relating to plain language in consumer contracts and insurance policies were collected from legislative information offices in each state. These bills and laws were then examined for common elements, means of enforcement, readability standards, and the readability of the bills and laws themselves. Information regarding compliance with the executive order was obtained by direct inquiry and examination of the Federal Register. The findings of the first part of the study revealed that only New York has passed a consumer contract plain language law, while 16 other states have considered such legislation. Enforcement provisions are weak in the bills. Only New Jersey included specific readability standards in its bill, and all of the bills required at least college level reading skills. Regarding insurance readability, most bills established a minimum Flesch score of 50 and could be enforced by state insurance commissions. Concerning the executive order, findings showed that all executive departments have plans for developing regulations, and most are beginning to simplify regulation language. Except for the Justice Department, all have published the plans in the Federal Register as required. (Copies of the New York and New Jersey bills are appended.) (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: M.Ed. Thesis, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey