By Preservation Action
In a blow to preservationists, after months of advocacy, on March 17 the Senate approved the short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), (H.Res. 167, sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-KY) passed by the House at the end of last week that eliminates approximately $6 billion in FY 2011 funding. At the end of the day, legislators used the list of programs the President proposed for elimination as the basis for a number of their cuts. Among these programs, as Preservation Action and its partners has been following, is Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America. Together the programs represent approximately $30 million in funding.
This comes after more than 250 preservationists descended upon the Hill last week for “Advocacy Day.” Funding for preservation programs was one of the key asks.
While the authorization for the programs remains, zeroing out funding does not bode well for their future. Despite significant support for the programs among legislators, it may be next to impossible to get funding for FY 2011 restored in any future CR given the focus on both sides of the aisle on spending cuts.
Based upon last week’s visits on the Hill, however, legislators may be open to providing some funding for SAT and PA in FY 2012, albeit at greatly reduced levels. The ask being made by preservationists for FY 2012 is $50 million for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), $11 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs), and $9 million for Save America's Treasures and Preserve America (combined), funded out of the Historic Preservation Fund. This represents 10% less than the combined funding for these programs in FY 2008 - a strategy that has been extremely well received.
By far, however, the greatest interest seems to be in preservation tax credit legislation - another key agenda item delivered during Hill visits last week. To learn more about the legislative agenda delivered during Advocacy Day, visit www.preservationaction.org/lobbyday.htm.