After a five-month delay and three short-term stopgap funding measures, Congress passed the FY 2022 omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2471) on March 10. The $1.5 trillion spending package includes the biggest increase in non-defense spending in four years.
The bill includes a record funding level for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) of $173.07 million, exceeding the previous year’s enacted level of $144.3 million. The bill includes increases to State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, although additional funding is needed, and increases to several important competitive grant programs that are helping tell the full history of our nation.
After many years, earmarks have returned to the budget process, now referred to as “community project funding items” or “congressionally directed spending.” For the first time in the history of the program, there is $15.27 million specified within the HPF for congressionally directed projects.
On March 7, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its fourth-annual report, “Preservation Budget: Select Preservation Priorities for FY2023 Appropriations.” The report is designed to assist federal policymakers and their staff, as well as historic preservation stakeholders throughout the country, in advocating for FY2023 funding for key federal programs that protect our nation’s historical legacy. Please note this is a preliminary report. Congressional delays in passing FY2022 appropriations bills, as well as a delayed FY2023 President’s budget, prevented completing all sections of the report. The report will be updated as information becomes available.