Collins celebrates advancement of 'Sue and Settle' Bill
“The ‘Sue and Settle’ tactic is increasingly being used to forcibly shape agencies’ regulatory agendas, without input from the public or regulatory community,” Collins said. "Under the ‘Sunshine Act,' lawsuits can only be filed after interested parties have had the opportunity to intervene in the litigation and join settlement negotiations, and after any proposed consent decree or settlement has been published online for at least 60 days to provide for public comment.”
According to Collins, special interest groups use "Sue and Settle" cases to make unofficial deals with federal agencies, often removing the possibility of stakeholder input from local governments, businesses and farmers. Collins used the struggles of his home state’s agricultural industry as an example of the harm "Sue and Settle" lawsuits can do.
“This is about fairness and simplicity,” Collins said. “The legislation is intended to restore transparency, public participation, and judicial review protections to the rulemaking process, so sensible regulations result from a system that works.”