Advocacy

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.

At the Virginia General Assembly

The 2020 General Assembly Session began on Wednesday, January 8, and is scheduled to run for 60 days through March 7. We are reviewing bills as they are published and have identified those listed below as relevant to the interests of the preservation community.

During the session, we monitor budget items and discussions. Among other things, we will be tracking legislator-sponsored budget amendments as they are released.

Of high priority this year, we are supporting legislation that will require the State Corporation Commission, prior to approving the construction of electrical transmission lines to determine that the corridor or route chosen for the line will avoid any adverse impact on the scenic assets, historic resources, and environment of the area concerned.  HB665 is a direct outgrowth of our advocacy on the James River and an attempt to avoid harm to historic resources in the future.  We are tracking bills that will add African-American cemeteries to the list of sites eligible to receive state funding, bills on giving localities authority for determinations related to monuments, establishment of a fund for African American cemeteries, requiring professional standards for archaeological research on state-owned lands, funding underwater archaeology and supporting the funding of DHR’s budget. 

Here’s a list of all bills and budget items being tracked by Preservation Virginia.

In Congress

As our nation confronts the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress is considering funding packages and legislation that will help to put people safely back to work.  Historic preservation can play a key role in rebuilding local economies.  National studies indicate that in the 2009 Great Recession, historic rehabilitation projects helped lead communities in generating jobs and tax revenue.  Along with Preservation Action and the National Trust, Preservation Virginia supports the Historic Preservation Fund and enhancement of the federal Historic Tax Credit program to provide economic incentives towards recovery.
Interested in learning more?  Check out the tools and studies from the National Trust for Historic Preservation  https://forum.savingplaces.org/blogs/forum-online/2020/05/21/forum-webinar-coronavirus-historic-tax-credit and Preservation Action. https://preservationaction.org/category/legislative-update/

You can support Preservation Virginia’s statewide work and be a voice for historic places.