S. 4577 would expand the definition of “plain writing” given in the Plain Writing Act of 2010 and clarify the types of federal communications to which the definition would apply. The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance concerning plain writing in federal publications and on websites that offer information about federal operations, instructions for filing taxes, or obtaining benefits or services, for example. The bill also would establish evaluation metrics. Federal agencies would be required to implement the bill within one year of enactment.
Implementing S. 4577 would increase administrative and training expenses throughout the federal government. CBO estimates those additional costs would total about $5 million annually and $25 million over the 2023‑2027 period; any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Enacting the bill could affect direct spending by some agencies that are allowed to use fees, receipts from the sale of goods, and other collections to cover operating costs. CBO estimates that any net changes in direct spending by those agencies would be negligible because most of them can adjust amounts collected to reflect changes in operating costs.