MSHA, OSHA 2017 budgets outlined

By |  February 9, 2016

dollar-sign_iStockU.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez released the president’s 2017 budget for the Department of Labor, which supports the president’s plan to train workers for jobs of the future and bolster the economic and retirement security of working families.

“This budget makes investments to ensure that America’s economy works for everyone,” Perez says. “It reflects our optimism about the future and our commitment to creating broadly shared prosperity. The president’s budget envisions a future with greater opportunity for all – a future where a full-time job pays a living wage, where working families have the support they need to survive and thrive and where retirements are secure.”

The fiscal-year 2017 budget for the department includes $12.8 billion in discretionary funding along with new, dedicated mandatory funds. The budget includes substantial investments in the department’s worker-protection agencies for the enforcement of laws that protect the health, safety, wages and working conditions of American workers.

The budget includes:

  • $397 million for the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) to meet its statutory obligation to inspect every mine and help address risks posed to miners. The request supports implementation of a final rule on respirable coal dust exposure and strengthens targeted enforcement activities designed to focus attention on employers with the most serious safety problems.
  • $595 million for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). In particular, the budget provides resources to enhance safety and security at chemical facilities and improve response procedures when major incidents occur, following on the administration’s comprehensive review in the wake of the devastating incident or explosion at West, Texas. The budget also requests resources to provide compliance assistance for businesses that want help protecting their workers and funds to help OSHA improve enforcement of critical safety and health standards and the more than 20 whistleblower laws that protect workers from reprisal for reporting unlawful practices.
  • $277 million for the Wage & Hour Division to enforce laws that establish minimum standards for wages and working conditions. In particular, the budget supports efforts to thwart the illegal misclassification of some employees as independent contractors, a practice that deprives workers of basic protections like unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and overtime pay.

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