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Proposed FY 2018 budget: No major changes for OSHA, MSHA; CSB still facing elimination

OSHA's headquarters in the U.S. Department of Labor building in Washington, DC

Washington – OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration would see relatively small changes in funding for fiscal year 2018 – even with President Donald Trump seeking a $2.4 billion cut for the Department of Labor – according to the Trump administration’s FY 2018 budget request for DOL.

The budget includes $543 million for OSHA, with $130 million for “federal and state compliance assistance activities to enhance employer outreach and training.” OSHA’s budget for fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30, was $552.8 million.

MSHA is slated for $375.2 million – a slight increase from $373.8 million in FY 2017.

DOL stated it would make at least three cuts to keep itself in line with its new proposed budget:

  • Eliminate the Senior Community Service Employment Program, saving $434 million. The department stated it was not effective “in transitioning seniors into unsubsidized employment.”
  • Close Job Corps centers that “do an inadequate job of educating and training disadvantaged youth, or where it does not make economic sense to keep the center open.” That action will save $238 million.
  • Adjust the Bureau of International Labor Affairs’ priorities toward “ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers,” saving $68 million.

“This budget reflects the Department of Labor’s core mission and commitment to ensuring all Americans have access to good, safe jobs – and does so in a fiscally responsible way,” Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta said in a press release.

Meanwhile, NIOSH might experience a sizable reduction in its budget, and the Chemical Safety Board still is scheduled for elimination in the Trump administration’s latest spending plan, released May 23.

NIOSH’s potential budget was set at $200 million, a sharp decrease from the $335.2 million in the FY 2017 appropriations bill passed May 4.

The elimination of the Chemical Safety Board is proposed in the Major Savings and Reforms document, which pointed to the “duplicative nature of its work” as a major reason for cutting the agency.

CSB Chairperson Vanessa A. Sutherland, in a May 23 press release, countered that the independent federal agency has a unique role.

“In our safety investigations of high-consequence chemical accidents, we routinely examine the adequacy of existing regulations and standards. No other federal agency, or private entity for that matter, provides this comprehensive safety role.”

CSB, one of 19 agencies facing elimination, has proposed a budget of $11.6 million for FY18, a modest increase from $11 million in 2017.

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