Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

Biden Administration proposes limited increases in OSHA budget

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Apr 08, 2024

White_House1On March 11, the Biden Administration issued its budget proposal for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 (October 1, 2024 through September 30, 2025). The administration proposes a $655.5 million budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a 3.7% ($32.1 million) increase above OSHA’s adopted 2023 budget of $632.4 million (the Administration had proposed $701 million). OSHA is presently operating under the latest FY 2024 Continuing Budget Resolution (since no budget has been adopted for FY 2024 (I wrote about the Administration’s FY 2024 proposal HERE). Even if an FY 2025 budget is enacted, political differences make significant reductions from this proposal likely, but it’s worth reviewing the proposal as a reflection of the Administration’s ongoing environmental priorities. The remainder of this note summarizes the Biden Administration proposal.

How is the budget request framed?

The budget proposal asks for 1,980 fulltime-equivalent (FTE) OSHA employees, 18 more than the current 1,962. The budget discussion is grouped around the following topics:

  • Safety and Health Standards – resources for reviewing, revising and adopting OSHA standards – request $21,476,000 and 74 FTE (level funding)
  • Federal Enforcement – by OSHA (not delegated states) – request $261,635,000 and 1,391 FTE (increase of $2,106,000 and 16 FTE). This is framed as an effort to rebuild and strengthen OSHA’s enforcement program, including 14 additional Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs).
  • Whistleblower programs (covers 25 additional statutes) – request $23,121,000 and 130 FTE (level funding)
  • State Programs (cooperation and funding of delegated states) – request $120 million (level funding)
  • Technical support (including training) – request $26,483,000 and 97 FTE (level funding)
  • Federal Compliance Assistance - outreach and compliance assistance staff, especially to expand agency outreach to vulnerable workers – request $80,561,000 and 224 FTE ($342,000 increase)
  • State Compliance Assistance – expand On-Site Consultation Program – request $63.2 million (level funding)
  • Training Grants – for worker training targeted at high hazard industries and vulnerable employees – request $12.8 million (level funding)
  • Safety and Health Statistics - agency IT including data security – request $35,915,000 and 34 FTE (level funding)
  • Executive Direction – agency management – request $10.3 million (level funding)

Now What?

In the first two years of President Biden’s term, the narrow Democratic majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate were sufficient to produce expansions of OSHA’s budget (although less than the Administration’s requestion). Now that Republicans have narrow control of the house, FY 2024 has been chaotic legislatively. However, the proposals I’ve summarized above show that the Administration is seeking to continue its policy priorities in the next federal Fiscal Year, with most major activity areas unchanged.

Self-Assessment Checklist

Does the organization operate facilities subject to federal regulation by OSHA (as opposed to state agencies in delegated “state plan states” or to other specialized federal programs)?

Does the organization provide goods or services to OSHA (or to state agencies or training programs supported by OSHA funding) purchased under the agency’s budget authority?

Where Do I Go For More Information?

Information available via the Internet includes:

  • Department of Labor

- FY 2025 Congressional Budget Justification, Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

- FY 2025 Budget in Brief

About the Author

jon_f_elliottJon Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 30 years. 

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at:

Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, Cal/OSHA, FTE, Joe Biden, USA