cost estimate on BATF reform bill
The Congressional Budget Office has a report on the projected cost of the legislation (pdf file, but small). Sounds modest, mostly hiring admin law judges and additional attorneys.
Giving the power to ALJs is, I think, a good idea (if done correctly). The ALJs at Interior were their own organization, and handled a wide range of cases from different agencies, so they didn't build up loyalty to any one agency. There were some who were known to be cozy with an agency -- but then, a district judge can be, too -- but most struck me as trying to do the right thing.
It would certainly be better than the present system, where one BATFE office issues a notice of revocation, and if it is challenged, the hearing is held before, and the decision made by, a BATFE agent from another district. Nobody in an agency wants to tell their peers that they are wrong, or do something that might constitute questioning an agency decision, so if there has ever been a revocation overturned within the agency, I've never heard of it. I'd assume they don't file a notice of revocation unless they figure they have the evidence for it, so even an impartial review might sustain most of them, but when the figure seems to be 100%, you have to figure something's less than impartial.