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SBDC legislation




-------------Forwarded Message-----------------

From:	"Christine Twait", INTERNET:twait@uni.edu
RE:	SBDC legislation

 
HR 4946 IH 

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4946

To amend the Small Business Act to direct the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to establish a pilot program to provide regulatory compliance assistance to small business concerns, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 25, 2000

Mr. SWEENEY (for himself, Mr. TALENT, Mr. ENGLISH, and Mr. MCINTOSH) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Small Business 


A BILL

To amend the Small Business Act to direct the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to establish a pilot program to provide regulatory compliance assistance to small business concerns, and for other purposes. 

SECTION. 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `National Small Business Regulatory Assistance Act of 2000'.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish a pilot program to--

(1) provide confidential assistance to small business concerns;

(2) provide small business concerns with the information necessary to improve their rate of compliance with Federal regulations;

(3) create a partnership among Federal agencies to increase outreach efforts to small business concerns with respect to regulatory compliance;

(4) provide a mechanism for unbiased feedback to Federal agencies on the regulatory
        environment for small business concerns; and
(5) utilize the service delivery network of Small Business Development Centers to improve access of small business concerns to programs to assist them with regulatory compliance.

SEC. 3. SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY ASSISTANCE PILOT PROGRAM.

    The Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637 et seq.) is amended--

(1) by redesignating section 34 as section 35; and

(2) by inserting after section 33 the following new section:

`SEC. 34. SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY ASSISTANCE PILOT PROGRAM.

    `(a) DEFINITIONS- In this section, the following definitions apply:

        `(1) ASSOCIATION- The term `Association' means the association, established pursuant to
        section 21(a)(3)(A), representing a majority of Small Business Development Centers,
        regardless whether any or all of the participating Small Business Development Centers are
        members of the association.

        `(2) PARTICIPATING SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER- The term
        `participating Small Business Development Center' means a Small Business Development
        Center selected to participate in the pilot program established under this section.

        `(3) REGULATORY COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE- The term `regulatory compliance
        assistance' means assistance provided by a Small Business Development Center to a small
        business concern to enable the concern to comply with Federal regulatory requirements.

        `(4) SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER- The term `Small Business
        Development Center' means a Small Business Development Center described in section 21.

    `(b) AUTHORITY- In accordance with this section, the Administrator of the Small Business
    Administration shall establish a pilot program to provide regulatory compliance assistance to small business concerns through participating Small Business Development Centers, the Association, and Federal compliance partnership programs.

    `(c) SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS-

        `(1) IN GENERAL- In carrying out the pilot program under this section, the Administrator
        shall enter into arrangements with participating Small Business Development Centers under
        which such centers will provide--

            `(A) access to information and resources, including current Federal and State
            nonpunitive compliance and technical assistance programs similar to those established
            under section 507 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990;

            `(B) training and educational activities;

            `(C) confidential, free-of-charge, one-on-one, in-depth counseling to the owners and
            operators of small business concerns regarding compliance with Federal regulations,
            provided that such counseling is not considered to be the practice of law in a State in
            which a Small Business Development Center is located or in which such counseling is
            conducted; and

            `(D) technical assistance.

        `(2) QUARTERLY REPORTS-

            `(A) IN GENERAL- The Administrator shall require that each participating Small
            Business Development Center transmit to the Association a quarterly report that
            includes--

                `(i) a summary of the regulatory compliance assistance provided by the center
                under the pilot program; and

                `(ii) any data and information obtained by the center from a Federal agency
                regarding regulatory compliance that the agency intends to be disseminated to small
                business concerns.

            `(B) FORM- Each report referred to in subparagraph (A) shall be transmitted to the
            Association in electronic form.

            `(C) INTERIM REPORTS- During any time period falling between the transmittal of
            quarterly reports, a participating Small Business Development Center may transmit to
            the Association any interim report containing data or information considered by the
            center to be necessary or useful.

            `(D) LIMITATION ON DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS- The Administrator may
            not require a Small Business Development Center to disclose the name or address of any
            small business concern that received or is receiving assistance under the pilot program,
            except that the Administrator shall require such a disclosure if ordered to do so by a
            court in any civil or criminal enforcement action commenced by a Federal or State
            agency.

    `(d) ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS-

        `(1) IN GENERAL- In carrying out the pilot program under this section, the Administrator,
        acting through the Office of Small Business Development Centers (or any successor to such
        office), shall enter into a contract with the Association under which the Association will--
            `(A) act as the repository of and clearinghouse for data and information submitted by
            Small Business Development Centers; and

            `(B) transmit an annual report to the President, the Small Business and Agriculture
            Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman described in section 30(b), and to the Committees
            on Small Business of the Senate and House of Representatives, which report shall
            include--

                `(i) a description of the types of assistance provided by participating Small Business
                Development Centers under the pilot program;

                `(ii) data regarding the number of small business concerns that contacted
                participating Small Business Development Centers regarding assistance under the
                pilot program;

                `(iii) data regarding the number of small business concerns assisted by participating
                Small Business Development Centers under the pilot program;

                `(iv) data and information regarding outreach activities conducted by participating
                Small Business Development Centers under the pilot program, including any
                activities conducted in partnership with Federal agencies;

                `(v) data and information regarding each case known to the Association in which 1
                or more Small Business Development Centers offered conflicting advice or
                information regarding compliance with a Federal regulation to 1 or more small
                business concerns; and

                `(vi) any recommendations for improvements in the regulation of small business
                concerns; and

            `(C) not later than 3 years after the establishment of the pilot program, transmit to the
            recipients referred to in subparagraph (B) a report containing an evaluation of the pilot
            program and any recommendations as to whether the pilot program, without or without
            modification, should be extended to include the participation of all Small Business
            Development Centers.

    `(e) SELECTION OF PARTICIPATING CENTERS-

        `(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), the Administrator shall select 1 Small Business
        Development Center from each of the following States to participate in the pilot program
        carried out under this section:

        `(1) Massachusetts.

        `(2) New Hampshire.

        `(3) New York.

        `(4) New Jersey.

        `(5) Maryland.

        `(6) Pennsylvania.

        `(7) Florida.

        `(8) South Carolina.

        `(9) Illinois.

        `(10) Ohio.

        `(11) New Mexico.

        `(12) Texas.

        `(13) Missouri.

        `(14) Iowa.

        `(15) Colorado.

        `(16) South Dakota.

        `(17) California.

        `(18) Nevada.

        `(19) Washington.

        `(20) Alaska.

        `(2) STATES WITH MULTIPLE CENTERS- In the case of each State listed in paragraph
        (1) in which there is located more than 1 Small Business Development Center, the
        Administrator shall select for participation in the pilot program the center that the State
        director (or, in the case of the State of Texas, the regional director) of Small Business
        Development Centers for the State (or the region of the State) determines to be the most
        qualified, based on the director's assessment of the center's capability to provide regulatory
        compliance assistance.'.
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