Obama Budget Would Boost Funds for Workplace Safety Programs

February 27, 2009

Labor Department would get more money to boost enforcement of workplace health, safety and wage laws under President Barack Obama’s proposed budget.

The increase in worker protection is a major shift after years of cuts to those programs by the Bush administration.

Overall, the budget would increase Labor Department spending by 4.7 percent over last year.

The budget would also increase spending on job training programs with a focus on “green” jobs and would make extended unemployment benefits available more quickly to those out of work for long periods of time.

The administration is starting a new program to automatically enroll workers in employer pension plans or other retirement accounts to encourage retirement savings.

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