From Preservation Action
With still no FY 2011 spending bills passed, and the federal government operating on a continuing resolution that was set to expire today, late last night Congress passed yet another resolution extending FY 2010 funding levels until December 18th.
A permanent path for FY 2011 funding levels is still unclear. Between now and the 18th, Congress will continue to argue over several possible scenarios:
A year-long Continuing Resolution that would fund the entirety of FY 2011 at FY 2010 levels. (Could be good for preservationists because it would rescue the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) and Preserve America (PA) programs as well as restore funding to National Heritage Areas – all of which were gutted in the Administration’s proposed budget. This would, however, face opposition from legislators who seek spending cuts. There is also a chance that the CR might include some specific cuts.)
An Omnibus spending bill that would include all 12 individual appropriations bills. (A wild-card for preservationists because individual spending bills have yet to be passed and, in many cases have yet to even have Committee action. This means we don’t know how well our programs will fair. Over the summer, the House Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations stated that they “restored” funding for SAT, PA and Heritage Areas, but specific numbers have not been shared.
A Continuing Resolution funding the government through February or March at FY 2010 levels. (Another wild-card not only for preservationists but for any program uncertain of how it will be treated in the 112th Congress, which is expected to be focused upon spending cuts.) Some legislators have threatened that if this comes to pass, they would fight for a final FY 2011 spending bill that would include cuts back to 2008 budget levels. This would mean an approximate 15% cut to SHPO funding and a 20% decrease in THPO funding, but would provide level funding for SAT and an approximate 63% increase for PA.