Session Update: Key Preservation Bills Crossover

03/31/2022
By Elly Colmers Cowan

We are closing in on the last few weeks of an extremely busy 90-day legislative session, and Preservation Maryland is staying engaged in Annapolis, with the organization championing several key bills and testifying on many other important pieces of legislation.

With only 90 days, the legislative process must move quickly, so by the 69th day, each Chamber must send to the other Chamber those bills it intends to pass. In other words, in order to continue on their journey to become law, all bills must be voted out of committee and cross over into the opposite chamber by the so-called crossover deadline. Those bills that do not make this deadline have little likelihood of passing that year.

Since the start of the 2022 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Preservation Maryland has provided written or oral testimony on many pieces of legislation, many of which have crossed over and are working their way through the opposite chamber, including:

Historic Revitalization Tax Credit – Funding and Extension (SB289/HB27)

Director of Government Relations Elly Cowan in Annapolis to Testify on SB289

Knowing the potential benefits the state would see with a well funded historic tax credit, both versions of this bill seek to increase fuding to the commercial programs of the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit. However, they have been amended differently in Committee. SB289 now funds the Competetive Commercial program at a minimum of $22M beginning in FY24 and keeps the annual funding of the Small Commercial program at $4 million beginning in FY24. HB27 funds the Competive Commercial at $16 million for FY25 and FY26 and $20 million for FY27 through FY31, increases the per-project cap to $5 million, and annually funds the Small Commercial program at $2 million beginning in FY24.

MARYLAND CORPS PROGRAM – REVISIONS (SB228)

This legislation focuses on bringing service opportunities across Maryland into the 21st century. Among many other worthy goals, it would create a Maryland Historic Trades Corps to place young adults and veterans in regionally based work crews across Maryland to rehabilitate the state’s historic resources.

MARYLAND GREAT OUTDOORS ACT (SB541)

This sweeping legislation creates and funds a pathway for a State Park system that addresses needs for acquisition, accessibility, and equity. It seeks to invest in the parks Maryland already has while looking to expand the portfolio to ensure all Marylanders have public access to open space. The many laudable goals that would be achieved through the Maryland Great Outdoors Act include the investment in the preservation and maintenance of the vast number of historic and cultural resources in Maryland parks and the expansion to include the diverse histories of underrepresented communities.

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS NOW ACT OF 2022 (SB528)

The bill changes Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements to 60% below 2006 levels by 2032 and net-zero by 2045. The bill also calls on the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities to determine the percentage of state funds spent on climate change that must go to overburdened communities. It also creates a work group to protect impacted workers, as well as a Climate Justice Corps.

Advocacy Requires Your Support

Staying engaged over the entire 90-day session requires dedication, partnerships, and significant financial resources. There is still a lot of work to be done in the next few weeks to ensure our priorities are successful. Preservation Maryland is dependent on donor contributions to keep us on the ground in Annapolis making the case for preservation. Please consider making a gift to our advocacy fund to help support our essential work.

SUPPORT PRESERVATION MARYLAND

 

Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Government Relations

Elly Cowan works at the local, state, and federal levels to advance the historic preservation, smart growth, and community development policies that make Preservation Maryland's work possible.

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