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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

House Appropriations Committee Releases Discretionary Labor-HHS Funding Bill


Worker safety and health is a focus of the just released House Committee on Appropriations. The Legislation increases discretionary funding by $11.7 billion from the 2019 level, investing in education, health care, medical research, and job training so people have a better chance at a better life; Bill funds firearm injury and mortality prevention research at CDC for first time in more than 20 years.

The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and other related agencies, including the Social Security Administration. 

“This year’s Labor-HHS-Education funding bill—the People’s bill—makes historic investments in programs that provide opportunities for millions of people,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro. “…. We also protect our nation’s workers and help ensure access to good jobs through increased funding for workforce training, apprenticeship programs, and worker protection programs at the Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Finally, we invest in people’s health through groundbreaking medical research at National Institutes of Health, our public health and food safety infrastructure at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and women’s health. Through billions in smart, increased investments, our bill will help people across the country at every stage of their life. I look forward to passing it into law.” 

“Not only does this bill resoundingly reject the proposed cuts in President Trump’s budget that would have hurt working families, it provides a robust increase in funding for important national priorities that create jobs and grow the economy, improve health security, and build a stronger future for all Americans,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “This includes increased funds for lifesaving medical research, opioid abuse treatment and prevention, early childhood education, women’s reproductive health, student debt relief, and job training. Additionally, for the first time in more than 20 years, it also includes funding to ensure the CDC can conduct scientific research to reduce injuries and save lives from gun violence. With this bill, we are empowering families and communities and making the investments needed to keep up with America’s health care, education, and workforce needs.” 

A summary of the draft fiscal year 2020 LHHS funding bill is below. The full text of the bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups

Bill Summary:

$1.8 billion for Worker Protection Agencies, $237 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $210 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:

$298 million for the Wage and Hour Division, an increase of $69 million above the 2019 enacted level and $66 million above the President’s budget request.

$661 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an increase of $103 million above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request.

$120 million for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, an increase of $17 million above the 2019 enacted level and $16 million above the President’s budget request.

$13 billion for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) operating expenses, with an increase of $300 million above the 2019 enacted level to hire additional staff at field offices, teleservice and processing centers and improve public services.

See also:
State of NJ Sues a NJ Based Opioid Manufacturer Seeking Reimbursement of Workers' Compensation Costs

Employer Held Liable for Failure to Protect an Employee from Fatal Workplace Violence

Making Workplaces Safer

Workers’ Compensation and the Cancer Moonshot 2020
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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.