Tuesday, December 09, 2003

OSHA Does Well on FY 2004 Funding

OSHA is scheduled for an increase in funding once Congress finally passes the Labor Department appropriation, as part of the huge Omnibus Appropriations bill.

OSHA will get $461 million for fiscal year 2004, an increase of almost $10.5 million over FY 2003 actual spending levels. The conference agreement between the House and the Senate would give OSHA $10.778 million more than was approved by the House Appropriations Committee, but it provides about $2.5 million less than the Senate's $463 million request.

OSHA's enforcement program would receive an increase of $4 million, while Compliance Assistance would go up by $6.126 million. At $16 million, OSHA's standards program would remain flat (and dead.)

The happiest news is that the training grant program will remain at $11.102 million, after the Bush Administration tried for the fourth year in a row to eliminate the Susan Harwood triaining program and substitute a $4 million program that would focus on CD's and webpages instead of direct worker training.

The House of Representatives passed the Omnibus appropriations bill yesterday, but the Senate will probably not vote on it until after New Year's. It is being held up over a dispute over the Bush Administration's new overtime regulations. The House also left town without passing an extension of unemployment benefits.

Bah Humbug, and Merry X-mas to you too, says Tom DeLay.

I think more Republican lawmakers need to understand what it feels like to be unemployed. Sounds like a plan.