What are your thoughts about the bills?
This letter was emailed to me and I thought I’d share it with AP readers. While, I don’t usually post political items on this website, I thought I’d post the following letter to inform readers of bilsl pending in the Alabama Legislature in regard to Alabama’s historical preservation. I have not included the attachment links mentioned in the letter, but I have included links to read the bill, check its status and find out more information.
- The Montgomery Advertiser wrote an article about the bills on May 18, 2015 here.
- The Anniston Star also wrote an article about the bills on May 9, 2015 here.
Click on the links in the letter to read more about the bills and learn their status.
Dear Members and Friends of the ACPA:
You may already be aware that a bill has been introduced to the Alabama House of Representatives to abolish the Alabama Historic Commission (AHC) and transfer most – but not all – of its responsibilities and holdings to the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).
If you are a citizen of Alabama, I urge you to read the attached documents and take action as you see fit. In my humble opinion, the bill, HB 584, is a train wreck for historical preservation if passed as currently worded. If you read the bill, and a link to the bill is provided in one of the attachments, I believe you’ll agree with me that little thought was given to drafting the bill other than a “find and replace” approach to amending the Code of Alabama. When you look at the bill on Allison, note the link to “Fiscal Notes Description” where the Ways and Means Committee reports that implementation will result in savings of: an undetermined amount; cost to the two absorbing departments: an undetermined amount; in other words, they were unable to determine how much this would save or even cost the State if enacted. It does note that the AHC’s expenditures for FY2014 were $8.5 million, of which only $2.1 came from appropriated funds, meaning the rest must have come from grants, fees or other sources of revenue. The bill states NOTHING about transferring staff positions other than the State Historic Preservation Office and State Archaeologists titles to ADAH. Those staff positions not addressed developed about 75% of the operating capitol. Enough of my synopsis.
Please find attached:
- An Alabama Trust email that addresses two bills:
- HB 214 which would extend historic tax credit. I haven’t seen where this benefits those of us in cemetery preservation but it certainly supports preservation of other historic and buildings.
- HB 584. This provides a link to a May 11 Alabama Public Television interviewing ADAH Director Steve Murray – the interview starts 9 minutes into the show. This show takes place shortly after the ADAH board met that morning to evaluate the impact of the bill and what actions should be taken.
- An email from AHC’s Frank White with further attachments of the AHC’s analysis of the bill and a Map of Historical Sites and their proposed disposition.
I’ve heard nothing from the folks at ADCNR and while I agree with the assessments both AHC and ADAH make above, both appear to be taking a “we’re good public servants and we can fix this if you give us enough time” approach to talks with the legislature. I believe the bill should die in the House or in the Senate if it passes the House. If required for appeasement, introduce a bill to form a study commission to make recommendations to the Legislature next year. Again, HB 584 is a train wreck waiting to happen and costs decreases or increases are unknown. If you agree, please contact you state representative and/or senator.
I thank you for your time,
Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance, Inc. (ACPA)