From Preservation Action:
Congress passed a combined FY21 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief legislation. The President signed the package into law just before the new year. The package funds the Historic Preservation Fund at $144.3 million, a record level of funding for the 3rd consecutive year. This includes critical increases for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, increases for competitive grant programs, and establishes the new Semiquincentennial grant program, which will help preserve sites associated with America's founding. The full breakdown is below.
Historic Preservation Fund FY21 Levels
Total: $144.3 million ($25.64 million over FY20)
- $55.675 million for State Historic Preservation Offices
- $15 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices
- $25 million for Save America's Treasures
- $16.75 million for the African American Civil Rights grant program
- $3.375 million for the History of Equal Rights Grant program
- $10 million for HBCU preservation grants
- $10 million for the Semiquincentennial grant program (*NEW* in FY21)
- $7.5 million for Paul Bruhn grants
- $1 million for Underrepresented Communities Grants
Additionally, the Appropriations Committees once again reiterated their concern regarding the rule changes to the National Register of Historic Places, urging the National Park Service to address the concerns of stakeholders and consult with tribes. Preservation Action appreciates Congress's strong support of the Historic Preservation Fund over the last few years and their continued objections the the harmful National Register rule changes. The bill also included $23.889 million, a $1.945 million increase, for the Heritage Partnership Program which supports National Heritage Areas across the country.
The year end spending package also contained an additional $908 billion in COVID-19 relief, while proposals from the preservation community for supplemental funding for Main Streets, the Historic Preservation Fund and enhancements to the Historic Tax Credit were not included, the bill did include several items that could impact the important work you all do. The bill includes $284.5 billion in another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, with provisions targeting non-profits. The bill also called for an expanded Save Our Stages Act, including $15 billion in dedicated grants for cultural institutions, this includes theaters, music venues, museums, zoos, and other independent entertainment businesses. We will keep reviewing the massive bill and subsequent guidance and provide additional information in the coming weeks.
Preservation Action will continue to advocate for the inclusion of historic preservation priorities in future COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation.
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