moneyPresident Obama's proposed fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget includes $565.5 million dollars for OSHA, with some individual programs getting a slight increase, some a decrease and some maintaining 2012 levels.

Under the proposal, Health and Safety Standards would get $21.1 million (up $1.05 million from 2012), Whistleblower Programs would get a $4.9 million boost, and Executive costs would get an additional $36,000.

The President has also proposed closing three of the ten OSHA regional offices.

Programs that would receive less funding next year: Federal Enforcement (down $678,000), Technical Support (down $940,000), Federal Compliance Assistance (down $3.2 million) and Safety and Health Statistics (down $426,000). Funding for State Pprograms, and the State and Grants Compliance Assistance programs would remain the same.

As to which figures will actually comprise OSHA's budget next year; Aaron K. Trippler, Government Affairs Director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), noted that the figure the President proposed for OSHA for fy 2012 represented a small decrease over what Congress appropriated but was actually a small increase over what Congress eventually enacted.

"Washington loves to play games with the numbers," said Trippler in his February Happenings from the Hill report to AIHA members. "So you can safely say that OSHA is receiving a small increase or a small decrease in funding in the President's FY 13 budget."

Added Trippler: "Now you know why it is so difficult to keep up with what the government is doing, as well as the fact that it sure explains why the approval rating of Congress is now at ten percent!"