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Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 18, Number 8, February 27, 2015 →

See You Next Week for Advocacy Week 2015. Online Registration Ends Today at 5pm

Advocacy Week Logo 2015

Still time to register for Advocacy Week 2015! Online Registration will close today at 5pm. After today, you will still be able to register in person at the Fairfax Hotel.

Register now! →

National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week will be held March 2-4, 2015 at the Fairfax on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. 

Issue One-pagers Now Available

Issue One-pagers and the FY2016 Dear Colleague letter are now available for download in both DOC and PDF format. You will also find invites to the Congressional Reception on Tuesday March 3rd, to leave with your members of congress.

Program Now Available

Download the Complete Program (PDF)→

If your organization would like to hold briefings or meetings coinciding with Advocacy Week, please contact 202-624-5465.

Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices (NCSHPO) organize our industry’s Advocacy Week each year, bringing over 250 preservationists to Washington, DC to promote sound federal preservation policy and programs.

Help Us Spread the Word on Social Media!

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Encourage Your Representative to Sign the FY2016 HPF Dear Colleague Letter

The Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus co-chairs are leading a House FY16 Dear Colleague letter to urge appropriators to support the FY 2016 Historic Preservation Fund request, in the President’s budget. Urge your Representative to sign on to the FY16 Dear Colleague letter by March 18th!

Longtime Historic Preservation Caucus co-chair, Representative Michael Turner (R-OH) and the new democratic co-chair, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are asking the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to support the following levels of HPF funding: $46.925 million for State Historic Preservation Officers, $9.985 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and $500,000 for grants to underserved communities. In addition, the request includes $30 million for competitive grants for the Civil Rights initiative, and $2.5 million in competitive grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

To sign-on, House member offices should contact:

Vince Erfe with Rep. Turner (R-OH) at 202-225-6465 or vince.erfe@mail.house.gov or Paul Balmer with Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) at 202-225-4811 or paul.balmer@mail.house.gov. The signing deadline is Wednesday, March 18th.

Secretary Jewell Testifies Before Congress on FY2016 Interior Budget Request

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee on FY2016 Interior Budget Request this week. Secretary Jewell called the Interior budget request a “forward looking budget” and highlighted the inclusion of $50 million for the Civil Rights Initiative, which will identify and preserve significant sites in the civil rights movement. Sen. Maria Cantewell (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, also praised the inclusion of the Civil Rights Initiative in their opening statements.

The budget request calls for $13.2 billion for the Department of Interior, a nearly 8% increase over 2015 enacted levels. This includes $3 billion for the National Park Service and the following funding levels for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF):

  • $46.925 million for State Historic Preservation Officers, same as FY 2015 enacted levels
  • $9.985 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, $1 million over FY 2015 enacted levels
  • $30 million for new competitive grants in aid for the Civil Rights initiative; a initiative to identify and preserve sites significant in the civil rights movement.
  • $2.5 million in grants for Historically Black Colleges
  • $500,000 in competitive grants targeted for communities currently under represented on the National Register of Historic Places, same as 2015 enacted levels.

 

President Obama’s budget request also includes $17.5 million for restoration of sites important to the Civil Rights Movement within the NPS, places like Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park.

House Appropriations Budget Hearing Department of Interior Webcast →

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing on Department of Interior FY16 Budget Webcast →

 From DOI: “FY 2016 Interior Budget in Brief”→

HTC Introduced in Oregon State Senate

The Revitalize Main Street Act (SB 565) was introduced in the Oregon State Senate. This legislation would create a state Historic Rehabilitation Fund to help offset the costs of restoring historic commercial buildings. The Historic Rehabilitation Fund would provide a 25% rebate for certified rehabilitation of historic commercial buildings and require a $10,000 investment. So far the legislation has been endorsed by 25 Oregon Mayors and numerous main street organizations.

The Revitalize Main Street Act would make Oregon the 35th state offering a historic rehabilitation tax credit or incentive. According to an economic impact study, the Oregon tax incentive program could create a net increase of $35.8M in state GDP from just a $10.6M investment by the state by 2018.

Restore Oregon is leading the effort to pass the Revitalize Main Street Act. Currently SB 565 is scheduled to be considered at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 4th. This where the bill will either stall or move forward. It is critical that every committee member and every state legislator understand the benefits of the Revitalize Main Street Act. Contact your representative today and encourage them to support the bill! Restore Oregon has set up very easy to use tools for you to contact your representative, go to the hearing March 4th, and even give public testimony is support of the Revitalize Main Street Act. Find out how you can help!

Stories From Around the States

New Jersey: “Toughest Part of Open Space Preservation: Dividing Up State Funding

Wisconsin: “Walker’s Budget Reduces Historic Tax Credits

West Virginia: “Preservation Alliance of West Virginia Releases Development Grant Report, Asks Legislature for Restored Budget

California: “Photo Contest: Visual San Jose Seeks to Encourage Preservation

 

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