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Maryland House of Delegates Chamber, Maryland State Government
Advocacy Victory: Preservation Funding Increase in Maryland
03/29/2017 By Preservation Maryland
With final approval of the Maryland state budget, grant funding for historic preservation will see its first appropriation in nearly a decade.
Thanks to the support of members, partner organizations and legislative champions, Preservation Maryland is pleased to report that funding once considered lost forever is now officially back.
The funding will impact historic preservation across the entire state and Preservation Maryland is proud to have played a leading role in making this appropriation a reality. Inclusion of funding in the final budget would not have been possible without the work of a statewide network of grassroots advocates and the bipartisan support Governor Hogan and legislators in the General Assembly.
Maryland Historical Trust Director Elizabeth Hughes explained, “[We are] thrilled to see the return of grant funding for both research and survey and capital historic preservation activities in the coming year. This outcome would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our many partners – particularly Preservation Maryland – whose advocacy in Annapolis made all the difference.”
The funding details
The Maryland Historical Trust’s Preservation Grant Fund will see an infusion of over $800,000 in the upcoming state fiscal year beginning this July. Preservation Maryland testified in support of the appropriations in both houses of the legislature and worked closely with the Conference Committee to see that funding was included for the critical non-capital grant program in the final approved budget.
The two grant programs selected to receive funding include:
The Maryland Historical Trust Non-Capital Grant Program: $200,000
This program funds architectural and archaeological research, survey and documentation, public education, and planning and feasibility projects. This program directly supports local governments’ efforts to preserve places important to their constituents.
The Maryland Historical Trust Capital Grant Program: $600,000
This program supports capital (bricks-and-mortar) upgrades and repairs to certified historic structures owned by non-profits or local governments.
What happens next?
The $43.5 billion state operating budget was given final approval by the Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday, March 28th and does not require the governor’s signature to become law. The capital budget, with its $600,000 appropriation for preservation grants, was approved on Wednesday, March 29th.
The Maryland Historical Trust, an agency of state government that oversees the grant programs, will develop criteria, applications and will announce deadlines for the new grant funding later this spring. Preservation Maryland anticipates working closely with the Trust to help find excellent potential projects around the state.
Preservation Maryland continues to work on final passage of HB1513/SB1069, which would set a base level of support for these grant programs in the future at $1.5 million annually. The legislation, which was sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones in the House and Senator Bill Ferguson in the Senate has passed the House (134-5) and ‘crossed-over’ to the Senate for their consideration. Passage of this bill is a critical priority and will make victories like this a regular occurrence for preservationists.