Senate panel OKs money to curb mine case backlog

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate panel that oversees federal
spending has approved more money to help curb the massive backlog
of mine safety cases.
West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd says the move was prompted by
last month's explosion at a West Virginia mine that killed 29
Lawmakers have accused the mine's owner - Massey Energy Co. - of
filing legal challenges to dozens of safety citations just to delay
stronger penalties. The commission that processes mine safety
appeals has a backlog of more than 16,000 cases.
The extra $22 million was added to a supplemental spending bill
that is expected to be approved in the full Senate and House later
this summer. The money would be available this year for agencies to
hire more judges and lawyers to resolve the cases.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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