Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 19, June 09, 2017 →

Secretary Zinke Testifies on the FY 2018 Interior Budget Request

This week Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, testified before the before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on President Trump’s proposed FY18 budget request. The budget request would cut the Department of Interior’s budget by $1.4 billion from FY17 enacted levels and cut the National Park Service budget by $300 million over FY17 enacted levels. The proposal also calls for significant cuts to preservation programs, including a $29.8 million cut to the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and eliminates funding for National Heritage Areas.

During the hearing both Democrats and Republicans questioned proposed cuts and program eliminations laid out in the administration’s budget request. During Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert’s (R-CA) remarks, he emphasized the tall order ahead of the committee to produce a good bill in a difficult budget year and under a shortened time frame. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) specifically highlighted the the elimination of funding for National Heritage Areas (NHAs) and questioned how many NHAs could continue to operate without federal funding. Secretary Zinke responded by saying he understood the value of National Heritage Areas, but in an effort to balance the budget, tough choices had to be made. Others, including Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) discussed the National Park Service (NPS) maintenance backlog, highlighting his bill, the NPS Legacy Act (H.R 2584) with Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) aimed at addressing the NPS maintenance backlog.

Preservation Action will continue to follow as the budget process continues through Congress, but we need your help. Reach out to your members of Congress and tell them to support funding for the Historic Preservation Fund and critical history and preservation programs. Let them know how these cuts impact you and your community. It is especially important if your members of Congress serve on the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee or Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee.

Contact your members of Congress today! 

Join us June 14th for Historic Tax Credit Lobby Day

Join us June 14th in Washington, DC for a lobby day in support of the Historic Tax Credit. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Tax Credit Coalition are organizing a Historic Tax Credit Lobby Day in Washington, DC to precede the Institute for Professional and Executive Development Annual Historic Tax Credit Summit on June 15 and June 16. Preservation Action is working to join grassroots constituents with developers to best show members of Congress the impact of the Historic Tax Credit.

With tax reform on the horizon we need your voice! If you’re interested in attending please email rnaylor@preservationaction.org and check out the link below for more information.

On the Hill: New Opportunity to Protect the Federal Historic Tax Credit 

Sen. Warner Visits Fredricksburg Military Park, Touts National Park Service Legacy Act

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) at the Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) at the Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) recently visited the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Fredrickburg, Virginia. He used the occasion to tout the National Park Service Legacy Act (S.751) which he introduced alongside Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in March. This important legislation is aimed at addressing the maintenance  backlog at the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS has suffered from chronic underfunding for years and now faces a $12 billion maintenance backlog. During his visit to Fredrickburg Sen. Warner said:

 

 

“If we don’t take care of the $12-billion backlog in maintenance, future generations aren’t going to see this park and this cemetery in the way that we get to see it today,” Warner said. “If we don’t put our money where our mouth is, as a Congress, to represent, preserve and maintain this history, then we’re not doing our job.”

The National Park Service Legacy Act would establish a National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating $500 million annually from existing revenues the government receives for oil and natural gas royalties, every year, until 2047. 80% of the funds in the NPS Restoration Fund would be dedicated to the repair and rehabilitation of key assets, including historic structures.

So far the NPS Legacy Act is up to 11 cosponsors in the Senate. Companion legislation (H.R 2584) was recently introduced in the House by Representatives by Will Hurd (R-TX), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), and Dave Reichert (R-WA). Both bills have been referred to the appropriate committees.

National News

Department of Interior: “6 Interior Infrastructure Projects that Benefit the Public

NTHP: “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings, Mapped

Stories From Around the States

Missouri: “Governor’s Tax Committee Hears Case for Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Delaware: “Online Survey Seeks Public Input Regarding the Preservation of Historic Places in Delaware

Alabama: “Which Alabama Building Received the Largest Tax Credit for Historic Preservation?

 

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