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Tuesday March 23, 2021

CPSC to Split Midyear Funding Review into Two Parts

The recent addition of $50 million into CPSC's budget means commissioners are expected to deal with the midyear projects update in two parts. A decisional meeting will be March 25 and will address $2.7 million in possible freed-up funds for 10 projects (PSL, 3/22/21). That money comes from the $135 million in the FY2021 appropriations act (PSL, 1/4/21). The separate $50 million (over five years) will get attention, likely in the coming week, with agency staff expected to suggest additional projects for commission consideration.

 

Acting Chairman Robert Adler March 23 issued this statement explaining the approach:

"This week’s public meeting on our Mid-Year spending is particularly important, and unusual in that it’s the first of two Mid-Year spending decisions. For Mid-Year 1, staff has compiled a list of projects to be funded that focus mainly on CPSC’s mission in relation to diversity, in addition to several important projects on Internet of Things, bath surfaces, and ride-on mowers. Diversity goes beyond how the agency looks, to be sure – we should reflect the American people. Beyond that, it is critical that we understand how certain product safety hazards disproportionally affect vulnerable populations; how barriers, like socio-economic status, language, and age, can affect our safety messages and peoples’ ability to respond to them. These are all the types of questions that our Mid-Year 1 package seeks to answer, and I’m hopeful that my colleagues will support them."
"In Mid-Year 2, which I expect to be coming up to the Commission next week, staff will put forth a slate of projects related to the funds appropriated to CPSC under the American Rescue Plan. Mid-Year 2 will include staff recommendations on carrying out the congressional mandates set forth in the consolidated appropriation act passed in December 2020, including plans to hire personnel to be stationed or supporting efforts at the ports, including ports for de minimis shipments. Projects will also include technology investments to enhance targeting and surveillance efforts, particularly for products that have been affected by the COVID-19 environment. In addition, staff will be submitting projects to enhance internet website monitoring and to increase awareness and communication of product-related risks, particularly those arising or increasing in the pandemic. Finally, I anticipate that Mid-Year 2 projects will focus on staff and technology resources needed to improve data collection and analysis, especially for product risks related to COVID-19 and to socially disadvantaged and vulnerable populations."