kysealFRANKFORT, Ky. (6/2/14) — A thirty percent budget cut directed by the General Assembly is forcing the state Office of Mine Safety and Licensing to reorganize in preparation for balancing the agency’s budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters announced Friday.

Legislators reduced the OMSL budget by $4.3 million each year of the two-year budget enacted during the 2014 General Assembly. Lawmakers also reduced the number of mandatory annual mine safety inspections, from six to four.

Gov. Steve Beshear said the restructuring, which will be implemented by an executive order effective June 1, 2014, was forced upon the Cabinet when his proposal to fully fund mine safety and inspection functions was significantly reduced by the General Assembly in the two-year state budget. He predicted the budget cut would have both tangible and symbolic impact.

Despite the declines in coal mining, employment and coal sales, there continue to be many mine sites that need inspecting, monitoring and oversight, Gov. Beshear said.

“For years Kentucky made mine safety a high priority and dedicated resources to assure a higher safety standard than the federal government requires,” Gov. Beshear said. “I am disappointed that the General Assembly decided to retreat from that standard and only meet the minimum requirements.”

Although he said he disagreed with the General Assembly’s decision to reduce funding, the Governor said he would work with the Cabinet to assure the highest level of safety possible with the funding available.

Under the reorganization, OMSL will become the Division of Mine Safety in the Department for Natural Resources.

“The stark reality is, we are left with a bare bones budget and the only recourse is to reorganize,” Secretary Peters said. “My concern going forward is for the safety of all Kentucky miners. The division will be challenged to make the inspections necessary to keep our miners safe. That continues to be our top priority.”

The Office of Mine Safety and Licensing has offices in Frankfort, Barbourville, Harlan, Hazard, Madisonville, Martin and Pikeville and employs approximately 140 staff.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Dick Brown

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (6/30/15) — The Hopkins County Sheriff's Office released the following reports Tuesday, June 30.… Read More

Henderson County Police Reports

HENDERSON, Ky. (6/30/15) — The Henderson Police Department released the following report. On Monday, June 29 2015,… Read More
1 DOW 17,715.69
+96.18 (0.55%)    
2 S&P 2,073.01
+9.90 (0.48%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,004.56
+17.69 (0.35%)    

Most Read This Week

June 25, 2015 4384

Accused Synthetic Drug Traffickers Remain in U.S.…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 4219

UPDATE: Victim of Home Invasion/Homicide Died of…

by SurfKY News
June 28, 2015 3334

'Curb Service’ at Local Eatery Ends with DUI…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 3233

Alleged Breast Display Ends in Domestic Assault…

by SurfKY News
June 25, 2015 3152

Fundraiser Planned for Family of Trooper Eric…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

June 24, 2015 44742

Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana's Largest…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 19, 2015 11188

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin

Stories Trending Now

June 29, 2015 3144

Accused Synthetic Marijuana Traffickers Appear in…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 2810

Earlingman Faces Multiple Charges after Alleged…

by SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 1161

Hope2All Food Bank Opens in Drakesboro

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 1110

KRS Accounting Fraud Created Pension Crisis

by Dr. William F. Smith
June 30, 2015 972

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 857

Another ‘Welcomed’ Sign

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
June 30, 2015 739

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 715

UofL School of Dentistry Ranked No. 2 in the…

by UofL Health Sciences News
June 29, 2015 674

Muhlenberg Allstars 9-10 Fall to Warren North

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 526

PSC Approves Settlement in KU, LG&E Rate Cases

by Andrew Melnykovych