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Senate Committee Labor Bill Contains Silica Rule Provision

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Last week, the Senate Appropriation Committee passed the Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) spending bill for FY16 that totals $153.65 billion in funding. It was no surprise that the Senate bill included measures to delay or defund the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election rule, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule and the newly defined "joint employer" standard by the NLRB. However, there was one provision that made it into the final bill that was not expected: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) proposed silica rule. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced the measure which would delay the rulemaking on the silica rule and mandates additional review of the impact to small businesses from the rule. The proposed rule halves the current Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and requires employers to implement greater measures to limit exposure to silica. NRMCA is concerned about the potential financial implications on the ready mixed concrete industry and has estimated it will cost between $16.5 million and $657 million annually. If this provision makes it into the budget for FY16, it is highly likely that the final rule will NOT be issued under the Obama Administration.

Last week, the House also passed its Labor-HHS spending bill which also included provisions to delay or defund the union election rule, fiduciary rule and joint employer standard. NRMCA is working with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) to secure final passage on the floor of both the Senate and House spending bills.

For more information please contact NRMCA’s Kerri Leininger at

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