The 2010 legislative session is half way through the schedule for the year. Formal sessions will not be held until March 8 while work continues on resolving budget issues. Now is a good time to let your state legislators know about your concerns for preservation.
Over the last several years, budget reductions at the Historic Preservation Division resulted in:
- The loss of six staff positions and the long standing CLG contract
- Funding was reduced for Regional Planners and restructuring resulted in reducing the number of planners from 14 down to 11
- The Georgia Heritage Grant program was frozen
- Travel has been restricted to reduce operating costs
Additional Proposed Cuts
For the remainder of the current fiscal year (SFY 2010) and for the upcoming year (SFY 2011) more cuts are proposed:
- Regional Planners: The SFY 2011 proposal to cut $47,600 brings the funding for each commission down to $17,309 from its current $21,636
- HPD staff: Six full-time positions were not funded during SFY 2010 and the 2011 budget proposal permanently eliminates those positions.
- Main Street Design Assistance: Funded through the Department of Community Affairs, The Georgia Trust contract has been significantly reduced by $74,000.
- This contract allows the Georgia Trust to offer affordable design and technical assistance to the
46 Main Streetcities, as well as to other communities, throughout Georgia
- Civil War Commission: By 2011, the commission’s operating budget and special project funding is eliminated
- Georgia Humanities Council: The state grant program of $139,050 is eliminated
- Many of these grants support preservation activities throughout
- Georgia Historical Society: The state marker program is reduced by $30,000 along with other state-funded projects
Details of the Governor’s budget proposals for SFY 2010 and 2011 are available Here and can be tracked throughout the legislative process.
While nearly all state-funded programs face budget reductions, preservationists must diligently voice their concerns for preservation and how it benefits economic and community development in towns and counties throughout