Federal agencies

Harwood grant program on the chopping block in Senate committee’s FY 2021 budget proposal

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Washington — The Senate Appropriations Committee is seeking to cut OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, although it’s unclear if that will come to fruition in fiscal year 2021.

In a series of appropriations bills released one week after Election Day, the committee is proposing an $11.5 million decrease to OSHA’s $581.8 million budget in FY 2020. All of that money would come from the elimination of the Harwood grants.

The federal government, however, is operating under a continuing resolution until Dec. 11, meaning all current funding remains virtually the same as the previous fiscal year. The House kept the Harwood grants in its appropriations bill, allocating about $13.5 million for the program. That passed July 31 as part of a package of bills.

 

The Trump administration has sought to cut the Harwood program in each of its annual budget proposals, but Congress hasn’t complied with those requests. OSHA awarded more than $11.2 million in Harwood grants to 90 nonprofit organizations in FY 2020, the agency announced Sept. 18. The administration also has sought to eliminate the Chemical Safety Board, but the Senate Appropriations Committee has allocated $12 million for the agency – the same as in FY 2020.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration ($379.8 million) and NIOSH ($343.8 million) also are slated for stable funding. MSHA’s budget number is the same as FY 2020, while NIOSH’s represents a $1 million increase.

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