imageASSE Government Affairs Federal Legislative Alert

Join in Opposing Proposed FY 2012 Cuts to NIOSH Ag,
Forestry and Fishing Programs and ERCs

Last year, ASSE members helped voice opposition to the Obama Administration's proposed FY 2012 budget cuts of two significant NIOSH activities that support occupational safety and health and the work of ASSE’s members – the NORA Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) Program and Education and Resource Centers (ERCs).  We won that fight.  Congress appropriated monies for the programs.

But, once again in its FY 2013 budget, the Administration has proposed eliminating funding for the AFF Program and ERCs in NIOSH’s budget.  The Administration’s position can be found at page 40 of its budget Cuts, Consolidations and Savings document.

ASSE has joined with 127 other NIOSH stakeholders in fighting for these programs.  Friends of NIOSH letters have been sent to leaders of the Senate and House  Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Committees focused on the importance of NIOSH and these programs to occupational safety and health.

Please join in this effort.
Congress needs to hear directly from safety and health professionals about the importance of NIOSH and these two programs to occupational safety and health, your employer and you.  As the only meaningful resource for occupational safety and health research and educational support, NIOSH deserves every ASSE member’s support.  The need to support the AgFF program that provides research to keep workers safe in jobs with some of the highest fatality and injury rates is obvious.  That AgFF has been singled out for cuts among all the different NORA industry research programs makes no sense.  While it is well recognized that the ERCs do not do enough safety education and training in some members’ view, having no ERCs will not result in more safety professionals, only less.

As a first step in advocating for NIOSH AgFF and the ERCs, the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Committees need to hear from you. So, especially if one of these is your Senator or Representative, please send as many of them as you can a message –

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Ed and Related Committees –
Majority Members

Thomas Richard "Tom" Harkin (D-IA) Chairman

Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI)

Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)

Richard J. "Dick" Durbin (D-IL)

John F. "Jack" Reed (D-RI)

Mark L. Pryor (D-AR)

Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)


Minority Members

Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) Ranking Member

Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Kathryn Ann Bailey "Kay Bailey" Hutchison (R-TX)

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Ronald Harold "Ron" Johnson (R-WI)

Mark Steven Kirk, USNR (R-IL)

Lindsey O. Graham, USAFR (R-SC)

Jerry Moran (R-KS)

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Ed and Related Committees –

Majority Members
Dennis R. "Denny" Rehberg (R-MT) Chairman§iontree=662

Charles Jeremy "Jerry" Lewis (R-CA)

Rodney M. Alexander (R-LA) Vice Chairman

Jack Kingston (R-GA)

Kay Granger (R-TX)

Michael K. "Mike" Simpson (R-ID)

Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Cynthia Marie Lummis (R-WY)

Harold Dallas "Hal" Rogers (R-KY) Ex Officio, Voting

Minority Members

Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT) Ranking Member

Nita M. Lowey (D-NY)§iontree=56

Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Norman D. "Norm" Dicks (D-WA) Ex Officio, Voting

And you should not hesitate to copy in your own Senators and Representative.  You can easily find their email and office addresses by going to and entering your address.

Your message can be short and simple.  Best is a message in your own words, including examples from your life and practice that demonstrate personally the importance of the AFF programs and/or ERCs.  But, the following sample message can be used –

Dear Senator/Representative _________________:

I am a safety and health professional who lives and works in ________________.  I value the importance of the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH).  Because NIOSH is the only federal resource for occupational safety and health research and education, it troubles me that the current Administration is proposing in its FY 2013 budget proposal to end support for two NIOSH activities – the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) program and Education and Resource Centers (ERCs).  Without the AgFF program, research in how to save the lives in some of the most dangerous industries will stop.  Without ERCs, the ability of employers to hire well prepared safety and health professionals to help protect workers will be severely harmed.  Investment in safety and health education and research is an investment in our nation’s competitiveness.  Please join me in opposing these proposed cuts.


Your Name


If you can, please share your letter with me, Dave Heidorn at
Any questions, please let me know. Thanks for your efforts.

Dave Heidorn

Manager, ASSE Government Affairs and Policy





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