Making the Case

Government policies and decisions have a major impact on Virginia’s historic places. Preservation Virginia works with its partners and network of preservationists to build public support for identifying priority preservation issues and developing action strategies to ensure that Virginia’s historic places remain strong and economically sustainable for present and future generations. You can support this work by becoming an Advocacy Partner. Partners receive recognition at Preservation Virginia events, such as our annual Legislative Reception. Learn more about ways you can help and make a donation here.

In Congress

In March, Preservation Virginia joined Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Officer, Julie Langan and colleagues from across Virginia to visit with Congressional Offices to encourage support of the Historic Preservation Fund and the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act.  With colleagues from the National Trust Community Investment Corporation and Preservation Action, we will continue to advocate for these programs that have a real impact in our communities.  

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) recently released a report on the application and interpretation of the federal historic preservation standards.  Sara Bronin, chair of the ACHP, hosted a webinar to share the results and her belief that the report is the start of a conversation about the standards.  

At the Virginia General Assembly

Welcome to Preservation Virginia’s 2024 Legislative Update.  Each year, we monitor the legislative activities of the General Assembly to keep you informed about legislation that impacts historic preservation. During the session we will follow the progress of the budget and separate pieces of legislation through committees.  At the beginning of each week, you will receive updates.  When needed, Action Alerts will notify you about needed communications to your legislators.   

The 2024 General Assembly session began on Wednesday, January 10th, and runs for 60 days through March 9th.   In the run-up to session, many pre-filed bills have been publicly disclosed.  Preservation Virginia has reviewed those bills and has identified those listed below as relevant to the interests of the preservation community.  All relevant bills will be updated throughout the legislative session. Preservation Virginia will be highlighting priority bills in depth as they come before their respective subcommittees for initial hearing.  Below is listed, the legislation that Preservation Virginia is currently following.

The General Assembly is entering its sixth full week of committee work. Any legislative action must be completed before the General Assembly adjourns Sine Die on March 9th. 

Preservation Virginia’s bill list is curtailed in this action alert – only priority bills are included here. Additional bills under review are available below in the legislative archive. Analysis of the House and Senate budgets, as well as the Governor’s Introduced Budget, are included in the Web Archive.  

The House and Senate will convene a conference committee to resolve differences between the two chambers’ proposed budgets. Preservation Virginia will continue to monitor the conference committee and report any updates.

Preservation Virginia continues to track SB556/HB960 which would increase the maximum amount of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit that a taxpayer can claim each year from $5 million to $10 million. An amendment to this bill was added by the Subcommittee that would cap the total amount of credits available at $75 million per fiscal year, and if the amounts claimed in a year exceed that amount they would be allocated to taxpayers on a pro rata basis. 

The addition of this cap is unwise and unworkable. Thank you to everyone who has called their legislator to share the chilling effect on this extremely successful program. Your calls offer an important perspective.  Be sure to emphasize how a cap will be detrimental to small and mid-sized projects that rely on this program to make the rehabilitation of abandoned and derelict properties financially viable.

Bills

 

American Revolution 250 Commission

Bill: HB839 American Revolution 250 Commission; amends membership and staffing.

Patron: Delegate Austin 

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB839 

Summary: Amends the membership of the American Revolution 250 Commission to allow for the appointment of ex officio members who are directors of historic homes, historic sites, or National Park Service sites or former legislative members of the Commission. The bill removes the requirement that a representative of the secretariat of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission serve as a member. The bill also provides for staff of the Commission to serve as the Commission’s fiscal agent.

Status: House: VOTE: Block Vote Passage (99-Y 0-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Rules

 

Bill: SB 117 American Revolution 250 Commission; amends membership and staffing.

Patron: Senator Locke

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SB117 

Summary: Amends the membership of the American Revolution 250 Commission to allow for the appointment of ex officio members who are directors of historic homes, historic sites, or National Park Service sites or former legislative members of the Commission. The bill removes the requirement that a representative of the secretariat of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission serve as a member. The bill also provides for staff of the Commission to serve as the Commission’s fiscal agent.

Status: Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Status: House: Referred to Committee on Rules

 

Cemetery Property 

Bill: SB 281 Family cemeteries; interment rights, proof of kinship.

Patron: Senator Roem

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SB281

Summary: Allows a family member or descendant, as defined in the bill, of a deceased person buried in a family cemetery, also defined in the bill, that is located on private property to petition the circuit court of the county or city where the property is located for interment rights upon such property. The bill provides that such family member or descendant may prove kinship to the court through official documentation or nonofficial documentation, such as obituaries, family Bibles or other documents with family signatures, journals or letters of the deceased person interred on the private property, family photographs, or other documentation deemed by the court to be reliable.

Status: Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) 

Status: House: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources

 

Data Centers

Bill: HB 338 Siting of data centers; locality to perform site assessment before approval. 

Patron: Delegate Thomas

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB338

Summary: Requires a locality, prior to any approval for the siting of a data center, to perform a site assessment to examine the effect of the data center on water usage and carbon emissions as well as any impacts on agricultural resources within the locality.

Status: House: VOTE: Passage (55-Y 42-N 1-A)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology 

 

Energy Storage 

Bill: HB 785 Tax exempt property; energy storage systems.

Patron: Delegate Herring

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB785

Summary: Clarifies the tax treatment of energy storage systems. The bill strikes language that overrides the provision requiring the amount of tax exemption for energy storage systems to be 100 percent if the taxing locality has implemented a revenue share for such systems.

Status: House: Block Vote Passage (100-Y 0-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations  

 

Fort Monroe

Bill: SB 89 Fort Monroe Authority; powers and duties. 

Patron: Senator Locke

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SB89 

Summary: Renames the executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority as the chief executive officer of the Authority.

Status: Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Status: House: Reported from General Laws (22-Y 0-N)

 

Bill: SB 90 Fort Monroe Authority; land and utility ownership. 

Patron: Senator Locke

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SB90 

Summary: Removes the number of acres and the instrument number of the quitclaim deed recorded in the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court of the City of Hampton on June 14, 2013, in reference to the area that is known as Fort Monroe in anticipation of a new acreage number to be determined by a consolidated survey and a new deed of consolidation.

Status: Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (38- Y 0-N)

Status: House: Reported from General Laws (22-Y 0-N)

 

Historic Preservation

Bill: HB 1395 Historic Preservation

Patron: Delegate Hope

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB1395

Summary: Provides that the filing of a historic designation application shall stay a locality from issuing any permit to raze or demolish a proposed historic landmark, building, or structure until 30 days after the rendering of the final decision of the governing body of the locality. The bill also specifies that the affected property owner, the applicant, or any resident of the locality who provided public input on the locality’s historic district plan may appeal to the circuit court for review of any final decision of the governing body pursuant to such application.

Status: House: VOTE: Passage (52-Y 47-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Local Government

 

Bill: HB 1415 Civil penalty for demolition of historic structures. 

Patron: Delegate McQuinn

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB1415

Summary: Authorizes any locality to adopt an ordinance establishing a civil penalty for the razing, demolition, or moving of a building or structure that is located in a historic district or that has been designated by a governing body as an historic structure or landmark in violation of an ordinance that no such building or structure shall be razed, demolished, or moved without the approval of a review board. The bill provides that such civil penalty shall not exceed the market value of the property as determined by the assessed value of the property at the time of razing, demolition, or moving of the building or structure.

Status: House: VOTE: Passage (54-Y 44-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Local Government

 

Historic Resources

Bill: HB 814 Virginia Tourism Authority; powers; historically accurate advertising.

Patron: Delegate Mundon King

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB814

Summary: Requires the Virginia Tourism Authority, in consultation with the Library of Virginia and the Virginia African American Advisory Board, to (i) create standards for the Authority’s publications and advertising material to ensure all such materials accurately identify parcels of real property in the Commonwealth with a history linked to slave ownership and accurately depict the contributions of Black Virginians to any such parcel of real property; and (ii) acknowledge the horrors of slavery in the Commonwealth by publishing a list of slave-owning properties in the Commonwealth.

Status: House: VOTE: Block Vote Passage (98-Y 0-N)

Status: Senate: Reported from General Laws and Technology (15-Y 0-N) and Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations

 

Bill: HB 914 Creation of local historic district.

Patron: Delegate Shin

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB914 

Summary: Allows a locality to, by ordinance, establish one or more historic districts for the purpose of increasing awareness and support for historic conservation in the locality. The locality may in each historic district provide incentives for the conservation and renovation of certified historic structures, as defined in the bill, and grant tax incentives and provide certain regulatory flexibility within the limits of the Constitutions of Virginia and of the United States.

Status: House: VOTE: Block Vote Passage (98-Y 0-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Local Government 

 

Bill: HB 960 Historic rehabilitation tax credit; maximum amount of tax credit.

Patron: Delegate Lopez

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB960

Summary: Increases from $5 million to $10 million the maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year beginning in taxable year 2024.

Status: House: VOTE: Passage (62-Y 37-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations 

 

Bill: SB 17 Historic rehabilitation tax credit; maximum amount of tax credit.

Patron: Senator Stanley 

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SB17

Summary: Designates all motor sports facilities, as defined in relevant law, in the Commonwealth as Virginia Historic Landmarks and as enterprise zones.

Status: Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Status: House: Referred to Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns

 

Bill: SB 556 Historic rehabilitation tax credit; increase.

Patron: Senator Williams Graves

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SB556

Summary: Increases from $5 million to $10 million, beginning in taxable year 2024, the maximum amount of the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including amounts carried over from prior taxable years, that may be claimed by a taxpayer in any taxable year. In addition, should the taxpayer incur expenses toward the rehabilitation of a certified historic structure in a locality that has a designated enterprise zone, as defined in relevant law, the taxpayer may claim up to an additional $10 million in any taxable year.

Status: Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Status: House: Referred to Committee on Finance 

 

Infrastructure Study

Joint Resolution: HJ 5 Hog Island; Dept. of Transportation to study need for bridge from Surry County to James City County. 

Patron: Delegate Taylor

Resolution text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HJ5

Summary: Requests the Department of Transportation to study the need and options for constructing a bridge from Hog Island in Surry County to James City County and to submit a report of its finding no later than the first day of the 2025 Regular Session of the General Assembly

Status: House: Left in Committee on Rules

 

Land Preservation

Bill: HB 1183 Land preservation tax credit; maximum amount increase. 

Patron: Delegate Carr

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB1183

Summary: Increases from $75 million to $100 million, beginning in 2024, the maximum amount of land preservation tax credits that may be issued in a calendar year.

Status: House: Left in Finance 

 

Bill: HB 1223 Land preservation tax credit; maximum amount increase. 

Patron: Delegate Higgins

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB1223 

Summary: Increases from $75 million to $100 million, beginning in 2024, the maximum amount of land preservation tax credits that may be issued in a calendar year.

Status: House: Left in Finance 

 

Regret Acknowledgement 

Joint Resolution: SJ 16 Unethical use of Black bodies by medical institutions; acknowledging with profound regret.  

Patron: Senator Boysko

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+SJ16 

Summary: Expresses the sentiment of the General Assembly in acknowledging with profound regret the unethical use of Black bodies by medical institutions in the Commonwealth.

Status: Senate: Agreed to by Senate by voice vote

Status: House: Referred to Committee on Rules

 

Transmission Lines

Bill: HB 714 Electric utilities; pilot program for underground transmission lines; additional project. 

Patron: Delegate Webert

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB714

Summary: Adds one project to the existing pilot program for underground transmission lines. The bill requires the State Corporation Commission to approve one additional application filed between January 1, 2024, and October 1, 2024, as a qualifying project to be constructed in whole or in part underground, as a part of the pilot program. The bill requires that the added qualifying project be a newly proposed 230-kilovolt underground line and that (i) an engineering analysis demonstrates that it is technically feasible to place the proposed line, in whole or in part, underground; (ii) the governing body of each locality in which a portion of the proposed line will be placed underground indicates, by resolution, general community support for the project and that the governing body supports the transmission line to be placed underground; (iii) a project has been filed with the Commission or is pending issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity by October 1, 2024; (iv) the estimated additional cost of placing the proposed line, in whole or in part, underground does not exceed $40 million or, if greater than $40 million, the cost does not exceed 2.5 times the cost of placing the same line overhead, assuming accepted industry standards for undergrounding to ensure safety and reliability; if the public utility, the affected localities, and the Commission agree, a proposed underground line whose cost exceeds 2.5 times the cost of placing the line overhead may also be accepted into the pilot program; (v) the public utility requests that the project be considered as a qualifying project under the pilot program; and (vi) the primary need of the project is for purposes of grid reliability or grid resiliency or to support economic development priorities of the Commonwealth, including the economic development priorities and the comprehensive plan of the governing body of the locality in which at least a portion of line will be placed, and not to address aging assets that would have otherwise been replaced in due course.

Status: House: Vote: Block Vote Passage (100-Y 0-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor 

 

Tree Conservation

Bill: HB 459 Trees; conservation during land development process in certain localities

Patron: Delegate Sullivan

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB459

Summary: Expands authority of certain localities to adopt an ordinance providing for the planting and replacement of trees during the development process by allowing a tree canopy fund that currently applies to the planting of trees on public property to include maintenance of trees on public property and planting and maintenance of trees on private property. The bill removes a provision that requires that any funds collected for the purposes of the tree canopy fund be returned to the original contributor if not spent within five years but maintains the requirement that such finds be spent within five years. The bill also includes an expansion of the canopy credit and a provision that will require a local tree conservation ordinance to meet the standards set out in the statute.

Status: House: VOTE: Passage (53-Y 42-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Local Government 

Virginia Tribes

Bill: HB 200 Updating Virginia Law to Reflect Federal Recognition of Virginia Tribes; Commission on.

Patron: Delegate Krizek

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB200 

Summary: Extends from July 1, 2024, to July 1, 2026, the sunset date of the Commission on Updating Virginia Law to Reflect Federal Recognition of Virginia Tribes.

Status: House: VOTE: Block Vote Passage (99-Y 0-N)

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Rules 

 

Bill: HB 1157 Federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth; agencies to consult on permits and reviews.

Patron: Delegate Krizek

Bill text: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?241+ful+HB1157

Summary: Requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Historic Resources, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to establish policies and procedures for consulting with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth when evaluating certain permits and reviews relating to environmental, cultural, or historic resources that potentially impact those federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth. The bill directs the Secretary of the Commonwealth to designate an Ombudsman for Tribal Consultation to facilitate communication and consultation with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth and requires the Ombudsman to develop by September 1, 2024, a list of localities in which federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth shall be consulted to effectuate the provisions of the bill. The bill codifies Executive Order 82 (2021).

Status: House: VOTE: Passage (62-Y 36-N) 

Status: Senate: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources 

Legislative Archive 2024

Legislative Archive 2023

Legislative Archive 2022

Legislative Archive 2021

 

 

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