House Passes Bill Authorizing Historic Preservation Programs

On July 9, 2008, the House of Representatives, by vote of 360-23, passed legislation (H.R. 3981) to permanently authorize the Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures historic preservation programs. The bill would cap the authorization for the two programs at $75 million annually through fiscal year 2013, with the Save America’s Treasure’s program receiving $50 million and the Preserve America program getting $25 million.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved companion legislation (S. 2292) in May.

Both the Senate and House bills would formally codify the grant programs that started through Presidential Executive Orders.

The two programs encourage heritage tourism and public-private partnerships in historic and cultural preservation. Preserve America fosters reuse and interpretation of cultural resources. The Save America’s Treasures grant program funds “bricks and mortar” improvements to historic structures and assets by providing competitive grants to encourage sustainable historic resource management through heritage tourism.