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Legislation & Public Policy Issues in Preservation     


Legislation & Public Policy Issues in Preservation
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Senate Jobs Stimulus Package Holds Promise for Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy, Senate, Stimulus Package, historic preservation
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

The Senate is expected to take up its version of a jobs stimulus bill sometime in the next four weeks leading up to the Presidents Day recess, which is scheduled for the week of February 12th. The Senate jobs bill is expected to include three administration priorities: tax breaks and loans to help accelerate small-business hiring, money for infrastructure upgrades, and incentives for consumers to make their homes more energy efficient. However, the package may also present some lucrative opportunities for historic preservation, including a major funding initiative for school rehabilitation and renovation, as well as a jobs training program for historic rehabilitation. The House passed the “obs for Main Street Act” (H.R. 2847), its $154 billion job stimulus package, on December 16th that includes $4.1 billion in school renovations grants and $750 million for job training, with an emphasis on health care and “green” jobs, as well as $270 million for jobs on local public lands.

However, the Senate jobs stimulus bill may include a version of a $30 billion proposal by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to fund PK-12 school facility maintenance, repair and renewal that failed to make it through the conference during consideration of the FY’0 omnibus appropriations bill, but which may be revived for inclusion in the Senate’ version of the jobs stimulus bill. In addition, the Senate may take up a higher education bill later in the session that could also be a vehicle for school renovation funding.

In addition, the National Trust is still hopeful to include a preservation jobs bill provision in the Senate bill that outlines a green jobs training program modeled after a Michigan state program that would set aside 10% of the available funding for state job training programs in energy efficiency retrofits for historic homes and older dwellings that would be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Each state program would be certified for compliance with the Secretary of Interior’s standards for historic rehabilitation and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) would make grants available to qualified Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and partnering municipalities to conduct the training programs.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust

 


Keywords: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy, Senate, Stimulus Package, historic preservation

Posted: January 22, 2010
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Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
author and not necessarily the opinion of the editors of PreservationDirectory.com.
   



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