Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 03, January 27, 2017 →
Rep. Issa Reintroduces Military LAND Act in 115th Congress
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) once again introduced the Military LAND Act , as H.R 473, at the beginning of the 115th congress. The bill has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Issa introduced this legislation in the 113th and 114th Congress and was successful in including the legislation in the National Defense and Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House last May. However, thanks to advocacy of our members, partner organizations, and partners in the House and Senate, the final version of the NDAA, passed by Congress and signed by the president in December, did not include the Military LAND Act.
The Military LAND Act, reintroduced by Rep. Issa, would amend the National Historic Preservation Act to allow the head of an agency managing Federal property to object to the inclusion of a certain property on the National Register or its designation as a National Historic Landmark for reasons of national security. The Federal property would then neither be included nor designated until the objection is withdrawn.
Preservation Action believes this bill is harmful, unnecessary and undermines historic preservation and the National Historic Preservation Act. During previous consideration by the House Natural Resources Committee of the Military LAND Act, the Department of Defense and National Park Service testified against the bill. The Obama Administration also issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) which specifically objected to the inclusion of language from the Military LAND Act in the NDAA last year.
The renewed efforts of Rep. Issa to pass the Military LAND Act are concerning; the new Trump Administration’s position on the issue is still unknown. Preservation will continue to follow this issue and bring you the latest. Be sure to follow our Advocacy Alerts page, and Preservation Action on Facebook and Twitter to find out you can help as this issue develops.
Senators Introduce Legislation to Restrict National Monument Designations
A group of 27 Senators, led by Senate Energy and National Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced S. 33, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, which would restrict the ability of the president to designate National Monuments. The legislation would require congressional approval and approval by state legislatures on any national monument designations. Currently the president has the power, under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to permanently protect sites of intrinsic natural, cultural, and historic value. The legislation has 26 cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The Improved National Monument Designation Process Act would undermine the Antiquities Act of 1906, which has been used by both Republican and Democratic administrations since Theodore Roosevelt to protect naturally, culturally, and historically significant public lands. President Obama used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 35 national monuments. Most recently President Obama established the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and Freedom Rider’s National Monument, permanently protecting historically significant sites in Alabama that help to tell the story of the civil rights movement.
Preservation Action will continue to oppose any efforts to restrict the Antiquities Act.
Efforts to Renew the Alabama’s Historic Tax Credit Get Underway
Advocates of Alabama’s Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program are gearing up for the start of the new legislative session on Feb. 7th and renewed efforts to reinstate the state’s HTC program. The HTC program expired at the end of last legislative session, despite broad support, the legislature failed to renew the program. State Sen. Jabo Waggoner said he plans to sponsor legislation to renew the historic tax credit at the beginning of the session and is confident the legislation will pass. Waggoner sponsored a bill to renew the tax credit program in last session, but it failed to gain traction.
According to a study released last year, Alabama’s HTC program helped to rehabilitate 52 projects across the state and was responsible for $384 million in private investment, since the inception of the program in 2013. Preservation Action will continue to follow the historic tax credit efforts in Alabama and across the country, as many states are working to expand or prevent cuts to their historic tax credit programs.
Follow Advance Alabama for the latest HTC advocacy efforts in Alabama.
Preservation Advocacy Week Registration Now Open!
Join us for Advocacy Week 2017 at the Liaison Hotel on Capitol Hill from March 14-16. Registration includes in-depth training and policy briefings from an array of preservation and policy professionals. Ticketed events offer additional meetings with elected officials, their staff, and a national network of preservation advocates. Advocacy Week is our annual opportunity to have a mass impact on policy makers in support of preservation-positive legislation. With the Historic Tax Credit severely threatened by tax reform efforts, we need your voice! Register today!
Also be sure to reserve your room at the Liaison Hotel today and lock in a special group rate of $279/night by calling 1-888-513-7445 or reserving online and using group ID “NC0313”.
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!
Washington Post: “Trump is Eager to Undo Sacred Tribal Monument, Says Orrin Hatch“
Stories From Around the States
West Virginia: “Leaders Say Low Historic Tax Credit Holding Wheeling Back“
South Carolina: “Preservation in a New Era“