Federal agencies

OSHA, MSHA slated for increases under Trump administration’s FY 2020 budget proposal

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Washington — OSHA is slated to receive a relatively small increase in funding, while the Mine Safety and Health Administration is in line for a modest raise, under President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

A Budget for a Better America: Promises Kept. Taxpayers First. – released March 11 – allocates $300,000 more to OSHA than the $557.2 million the agency received in FY 2019. It also adds 26 full-time equivalent compliance safety and health officers and five FTE whistleblower investigators to the agency.

MSHA is slated for an increase of more than $2.2 million to its $373.8 million FY 2019 budget. The budget proposes combining coal mine safety and health enforcement with metal/nonmetal mine enforcement and allocating about $273,000 less for these activities.

Overall, the Department of Labor budget would be slashed by 9.7 percent, or $1.2 billion, to $10.9 billion in FY 2020.

If enacted, OSHA’s federal enforcement budget would increase by nearly $3.8 million. Safety and health statistics ($5.5 million), whistleblower programs ($1.1 million), and federal compliance assistance ($433,000) also are in line for hikes.

However, to offset these increases, the Trump administration is proposing – for the third fiscal year in a row – to eliminate the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. Congress has not complied with these attempts, allocating a little more than $10.5 million to the program in FY 2019. DOL wants to “maximize flexibility and use alternative methods to develop and distribute training materials to reach the broadest possible audience,” the department’s budget summary states.

The administration also reportedly is pushing, for a third straight year, to eliminate the Chemical Safety Board. The White House Office of Management and Budget has not released its “Major Savings and Reforms” supplement, in which it has notified the public of that proposed move in previous budgets. The supplement is expected to be released March 18, an OMB spokesperson wrote in an email to Safety+Health.

 

Congress has rejected previous requests to eliminate CSB, and likely will do so again, with Democrats holding a majority in the House. CSB, in its FY 2020 budget request, is seeking a 3.7 percent increase, or nearly $1.5 million, to approximately $12.5 million.

The Department of Health and Human Services, meanwhile, is proposing to cut $146 million from NIOSH’s $336 million FY 2019 budget. Recent budget requests have featured similar proposed cuts to the agency’s funding, but Congress has not complied.

Unlike this past fiscal year, the administration will not attempt to shift NIOSH to the National Institutes of Health from its current position as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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