The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 10, 2013

Ag, education cuts, energy boosted: Agency by agency guide to Obama's 2014 budget

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

The agency's discretionary budget would target $100 million in new spending to help military veterans find jobs in the civilian work force, part of the Obama administration's broader effort to combat high unemployment levels among veterans. Some of the money would go to state grant programs that help disabled veterans find work. The department would also expand programs to help wounded service members who have not left the military, but are about to transition to civilian life. National Guard and reserve members would also be eligible for the first time.

Another $80 million would boost grant money to states for job training services for adults, youth and dislocated workers. It would increase from 5 percent to 7.5 percent the amount of money that governors could use for innovative statewide programs.

In enforcement, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would get $5.9 million to hire more staff to investigate whistleblower allegations. The Wage and Hour Division would see an increase of $3.4 million to improve enforcement of overtime and minimum wage laws as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration would see a $5.8 million increase for investigating safety at coal and other mines, and another $2.5 million to implement recommendations for improved safety following the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

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Agency: NASA

Total Spending: $17.7 billion

Percentage Change from 2013: 0.1% decrease

Discretionary Spending: $17.7 billion

Mandatory Spending: 0

Highlights: Obama's budget includes $105 million to start an ambitious joint human-and-robot space mission that may eventually cost about $2.6 billion. The mission would have a robotic spaceship lasso a small asteroid, haul it to near the moon and then spacewalking astronauts would explore the space rock. The idea is to test technologies and methods to protect Earth from being hit by dangerous asteroids and prepare astronauts for a future mission to Mars. Some of the initial money would be used to better scan the solar system for asteroids.

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