JANUARY 11, 2019

House Passes Interior Appropriations Bill as Shutdown Continues

As the shutdown continues, the House passed a standalone 2019 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, H.R 266. The bill passed largely along party lines as Republicans and Democrats are still at odds over funding for President Trump's proposed border wall. 

The bill includes $91.91 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), which is in line with the Interior appropriations bill approved by the Senate last year, and $5 million below the historic level of funding included in FY18 enacted levels. The full HPF breakdown is below.

State Historic Preservation Offices: $48.925M, equal to FY18 enacted levels
Tribal Historic Preservation Offices: $11.485M, equal to FY18 enacted levels
Civil Rights Competitive Grants: $13M, equal to FY18 enacted levels
Underrepresented Communities Grants: $500,000, equal to FY18 enacted levels
Save America's Treasures Grants: $5M, $8M below FY18 enacted levels
Historic Revitalization Significance Grants: $5M, equal to FY18 enacted levels
HBCU Preservation Grants: $8M, $3M above FY18 enacted levels

The Senate has vowed to not take up the legislation and President Trump has threatened to veto any spending bill until the issue of the boarder wall is resolved. Still at an impasse, the government shutdown is poised to stretch into a 4th week, which would make it the longest shutdown in history. 
Due to the shutdown several National Parks, historic sites, museums and other NPS sites across the country are either closed or open with limited access. As the shutdown continues there have been increased reports of damage at National Parks and/or strains on park resources, with limited or no staff to enforce park policy.
Bipartisan Public Lands Package Reintroduced, Added to Senate Calendar

This week, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and the committee's former Ranking Member, Maria Cantwell (D-WA) reintroduced a broad Public Lands package. The Natural Resources Management Act, S. 47, includes several important provisions including the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF's authorization lapsed in September of last year and has yet to be reauthorized. The bill would also reauthorize the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) preservation program through 2024. This program provides critical funds to preserve historically significant sites on HBCU campuses.

The public lands package would also establish or expand several National Historical Parks and Monuments, including the establishment of the  Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument.

This public lands package has strong bipartisan support and came close to passing at the end of the last Congress. As part of a deal reached with Senate leadership the bill was added directly to the Senate Calendar and could be voted on soon.
Advocates in Michigan Continue Efforts to Reinstate
 State Historic Tax Credit

At the end of the year, the Michigan state legislature failed to pass legislation to reinstate their historic tax credit program. Despite passing the state Senate with strong support and being favorably recommended out of committee in the House, the bill didn't come up for a vote in the full House during the recent lame duck session. Michigan has been without a state historic tax credit program since the program was zeroed out in 2011. The bill would have established a 25% historic tax credit in the state.

The setback is not deterring preservation advocates in Michigan.  Michigan's incoming governor, Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer has expressed support for the historic tax credit and advocates expect bills to establish a historic tax credit to be reintroduced in early 2019.


Join the Michigan Historic Preservation Network for their Historic Preservation Advocacy Day 2019 on February 26th. The annual advocacy day will feature basic advocacy training and the opportunity to meet with legislators and staff, all in support of historic preservation and the reinstatement of Michigan's Historic Tax Credit. The deadline to register is January 31st

Registration Now Open for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week!

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) speaking at last year's National Preservation Advocacy Week.
Registration for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week 2019 is now open! Register before February 15th to lock in the best rates.

Preservation Action along with the National Conference of Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) is excited to host National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week 2019 from March 12-14 at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Washington, DC. 

Advocacy Week registration includes in-depth training, policy briefings, meetings with elected officials and white papers 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.

We Need Your Voice!

One of the most effective ways of sharing information with Congress is through direct meetings, and Advocacy Week is our annual opportunity to have a mass impact on opinion leaders and policy makers. This is especially important as a new Congress will be sworn-in in January. With more than 100 new members of Congress coming to Washington, educating members on historic preservation issues will be critical.  Together with a cohesive message in support of preservation-positive legislation we can ensure a strong future for the federal historic preservation program.

Make Your Hotel Reservations Today!

Take advantage of the special $274/night rate at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. Make your reservations by calling 1-877-866-3070 and use event code "NCSHPO March 2019" or visit this online portal. Th e cut-off date for this rate is  February 09, 2019.

Check out our Advocacy Week page for more information.

Preservation Action
2020 Pennsylvania Ave NW #313
Washington, DC 20006
p. 202-463-0970

Preservation Action is the only national  non-profit dedicated exclusively to lobbying for the best preservation policies at the federal level. We seek to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of government through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training.