When compared to other agencies, the Department of Labor (DOL) appeared to fare well in President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget request. The request for DOL totals $10.9 billion, a 9.3% increase over 2018 that includes funding for areas that impact the funeral profession.
In a statement, R. Alexander Acosta, the Secretary of Labor, said: “The President’s budget provides a fiscally responsible framework to advance the Department of Labor’s mission of ensuring all Americans have access to family-sustaining jobs.” Acosta said that worker safety laws and compliance assistance comprise a significant portion of the budget.
DOL budget highlights include:
- $543 million for OSHA to “help ensure workers are safe on the job, providing $130 million for federal and state compliance assistance activities to enhance employer outreach and training.” The FY 2018 OSHA budget was $531.5 million, which was a decrease of about $31 million from the 2017 OSHA budget. $543 million for OSHA is the same amount that Trump proposed for FY 2018.
- The DOL will seek to equip “Americans with the skills they need to fill open, high-paying jobs by increasing investment to $200 million in apprenticeships, a proven earn-while-you-learn strategy.”
- $230 million for the Wage and Hour Division to protect the minimum standards for wages and working conditions, including a funding increase of $3 million to educate employers on how to comply with the law.
- New mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, will receive six weeks of paid family leave, with each state being able to establish its own program. The cost of the program will be offset by reforms to the Unemployment Insurance system.
- For OSHA, as with other agencies, its primary focus will be on compliance.