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April 12, 2013
Department of Labor submits 2014 budget request

Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris has requested an additional $6 million for OSHA in the agency’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request. The funds, according to the Department of Labor (DOL), would bolster OSHA’s enforcement of laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation. OSHA administers about 20 federal whistleblower programs.

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OSHA would lose about $2 million for compliance assistance funds if the budget becomes law. The proposal includes a reduction in regional offices from 10 to 7, which is expected to save about $1.3 million. Overall, the request is for $570.5 million for OSHA, compared with $565 million for FY 2013.

The document, published April 11, also includes a request for nearly $6 million in additional funds for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The money would pay for programs that prevent death, disease, and injury from mining. Another $2.6 million would be used to implement recommendations from a review conducted in the wake of the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. Twenty-nine miners were killed in that incident.

The budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) includes a sharp decrease of approximately $53 million for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH is an agency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is part of the HHS. The budget proposes eliminating the NIOSH Education and Research Centers and doing away with research funding in agriculture, forestry, and fishing.

By the time an agency budget is approved by Congress, it is often significantly changed from the original request.

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