The Bureau of National Affairs (paid subscription) reports that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has determined that a ban on funding the promulgation of an ergonomics standard that was included in Michigan's labor appropriation is "unenforceable."
Because the language is unenforceable, "you don't have to act on it," Granholm's spokesman Greg Bird said, and the governor is letting Michigan's occupational safety and health agency continue work on developing a standard.When the legislature passed the ban earlier this month, some observers speculated that Granholm was caving in due to falling popularity ratings.
The labor appropriation--which was signed by Granholm Sept. 29--included language that said "no funds shall be used to support the development of, or activities that promote the development of, guidelines, rules, standards, protocols, or other similar mandates that are more stringent than federal voluntary ergonomics guidelines." The language does not prohibit work on voluntary ergonomics standards.
"The governor felt that section of boilerplate language is unenforceable," said Bird. The ergonomics ban attempts to amend the bill improperly through amendment by reference, he explained.
The Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business has vowed to continue to fight the regulation and is supporting additional legislation.