Federal agencies

Federal safety agencies set to receive budget increases in FY 2020

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Washington — OSHA is in line for a $24 million funding increase as part of a federal budget agreement that passed in the House on Dec. 17.

One of the two fiscal year 2020 appropriations packages (H.R. 1865) allocates $581.8 million for the agency, an increase from $557.8 million in FY 2019 and more than the Trump administration’s request of $557.5 million. This amount includes more than $11.5 million for the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, which received a little more than $10.5 million this past fiscal year. In each of its budget requests, the Trump administration has sought to eliminate the program and phase out the Chemical Safety Board. Congress has rejected the latter request as well, allocating another $12 million for CSB in FY 2020.

Among the other notable funding line items for OSHA:

  • Federal enforcement would increase $12.7 million to more than $221.7 million.
  • State programs would see an increase of $6.2 million to nearly $108.6 million.

The bill would consolidate the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s enforcement of coal and metal/nonmetal mines into “Mine Safety and Health Enforcement.” These two types of enforcement had a combined budget of $254.5 million in FY 2019, and together would receive $260.5 million in FY 2020. Overall, MSHA is in line for more than $379.8 million this fiscal year, an increase from $373.8 million and slightly more than the Trump administration’s request of $376 million.

The administration requested $190 million for NIOSH, a significant cut from its $336.3 million budget in FY 2019. Congress instead is allocating $342.8 million for the agency.

 

“Our hard work over the past few months has ensured a bipartisan path forward to complete our FY 2020 appropriations process,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a Dec. 16 press release. “I want to thank my colleagues and urge both sides of the aisle to support these packages for the good of our nation. These bills include a long list of priorities that will benefit people across the country. This is what the American people deserve – for us to fulfill our primary responsibility – funding the government.”

At press time, the bill had moved to the Senate for a vote and, if approved, would then need to be signed by President Donald Trump before Dec. 20 to avoid a government shutdown.

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