Conference Committee to decide OSHA and NIOSH budgets
The Bush Administration and both Republicans and Democrats had hoped to conclude the 2002 fiscal year appropriations process many weeks ago. However, September 11 threw everything off and debate is still taking place. An originally scheduled end of the first session of the 107th Congress was scheduled for early October. The new date has not yet been decided.
The appropriations bill that occupational health and safety pros are waiting for is the Health and Human Services bill. It includes appropriations for both OSHA and NIOSH.
At present, both the House and Senate have approved different versions of the bill. The administration requested $426 million for OSHA, essentially a level-funding approach. The House approved $435 million, and the Senate has approved $450 million. The Senate figure should be very close to the final appropriation.
As for NIOSH, the administration requested $266 million, a $6 million increase over last year. The House approved $270 million, and the Senate has approved $276 million. Again, the Senate figure should be very close to the final appropriation.