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Less Dollars for OSHA in Deal on 2014 Fed Spending

Posted in on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

On January 17, President Obama signed into law H.R.3547, commonly known as the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.  the bill sets spending for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year.  The following is a memo from the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. outlining provisions for the key occupational safety and health agencies –

January 31, 2014

This week the House and Senate are expected to take up the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill, to fund most of the federal government for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year.  The Omnibus Appropriations follows the agreement last month on a two-year budget plan.

OSHA

Total funding for OSHA under the bill is $552,247,000.  That compares to the 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) funding of $568 million, and the Administration budget request of $571 million.  The areas of the budget reduced from the 2013 CR level are federal enforcement ($2 million), state programs ($5 million), and federal compliance assistance ($8 million).  In addition, standards and whistleblower enforcement, which were proposed for significant increases in the Administration proposed budget, will receive approximately the same level funding as the 2013 CR.

The bill includes the previous riders regarding small business and family farms.  In addition, the conference report includes a provision “encouraging” OSHA to work with the Department of Agriculture before moving forward with “any attempts to redefine and regulate post-harvest activities, to include, but not limited to, storing, drying, grinding, and other activities necessary to market farm products to subsequent users in the agricultural value chain, and clarify that this exemption [for small farming operations] shall apply to on farm post-harvest activities.”

MSHA

Total funding for MSHA is $375,887,000.  That is approximately the same level as MSHA received under the 2013 CR.  The Administration had proposed increases in enforcement and other program areas, off-set in part by eliminating the State Grants program.  The Omnibus Appropriations bill rejects the Administration’s plan and sets aside $8.4 million for State Grants.

NIOSH

Total funding for NIOSH is $292,300,000, which is includes $180.3 million in discretionary funding and $112 million from department funds available under the Public Health Service Act.  That compares to $294 million under the 2013 CR. The bill includes $24 million for the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries programs and $27 million for the Education Research Centers which the Administration had proposed to eliminate.

Chemical Safety Board

Funding for the CSB for FY 2014 is set at $11 million.  That is the same amount as the CSB received under the 2013 CR.  The conference report states that the “Committees are hopeful that the recent Presidential Executive Order on chemical safety and security will lead to better coordination among the CSB and other agencies” and “encourages CSB to work with the authorizing committees on any additional legislative authority needed to effectively carry out its mission.”    

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