On September 10, 2021, the House Ed and Labor Committee voted to approve language proposed for inclusion in the FY 2022 budget reconciliation bill that would provide authority to the US Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) for “monitoring of State workers’ compensation programs”. See untitled (house.gov) page 115 lines 4-5 and amendments at untitled (house.gov)There is no authority under federal law for the OWCP to monitor state workers’ compensation programs. The states are responsible for monitoring their own programs.

The point of this federal expansion of authority is not related to the federal budget and is primarily a matter of extending federal authority over policy that is the province of state law. Monitoring of state workers’ compensation rests with the states.

This expansion of authority over states is something that has been proposed and rejected many times, most notably going back to legislative proposals from Rep. Baca (D-CA) in 2009. The Southern Association of State Workforce Agencies (SAWCA) passed a resolution of opposition to the Baca bill. See SAWCA Resolution Opposing HR 635 (Baca).pdf. We have raised concerns with federal overreach with respect to this issue.