The Obama Administration’s proposed budget for OSHA in FY 2012 is $583 million—24 million above last year’s budget. It includes funds for development of an injury and illness prevention program, a key initiative of OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels. Passage at the proposed level is unlikely, considering that the continuing resolution just voted by the House of Representatives for the remainder of this fiscal year was at a substantially lower level of $459 million.

A reduced budget would curtail OSHA’s regulatory agenda. According to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis who testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee, such a cut would force layoffs of “many of the new staff we brought in two years ago” (OSHA added 200 new inspectors during the current administration).