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Calendar No. 734
108th Congress Report
2d Session 108-375
CALIFORNIA MISSIONS PRESERVATION ACT
September 28, 2004.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1446]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the Act (H.R. 1446) to support the efforts of the
California Missions Foundation to restore and repair the
Spanish colonial and mission-era missions in the State of
California and to preserve the artworks and artifacts of these
missions, and for other purposes, having considered the same,
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that
the Act, as amended, do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``California Missions Preservation
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) California mission.--The term ``California mission''
means each of the 21 historic Spanish missions and 1 asistencia
(A) are located in the State;
(B) were built between 1769 and 1798; and
(C) are designated as California Registered Historic
(2) Foundation.--The term ``Foundation'' means the California
Missions Foundation, a nonsectarian charitable corporation
(A) was established in the State in 1998 to fund the
restoration and repair of the California missions; and
(B) is operated exclusively for charitable purposes
under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of
(3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
(4) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of California.
SEC. 3. COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS.
(a) In General.--The Secretary may enter into a cooperative agreement
with the Foundation to provide technical and financial assistance to
the Foundation to restore and repair--
(1) the California missions; and
(2) the artwork and artifacts associated with the California
(b) Financial Assistance.--
(1) In general.--The cooperative agreement may authorize the
Secretary to make grants to the Foundation to carry out the
purposes described in subsection (a).
(2) Eligibility.--To be eligible to receive a grant or other
form of financial assistance under this Act, a California
mission must be listed on the National Register of Historic
(3) Application.--To receive a grant or other form of
financial assistance under this Act, the Foundation shall
submit to the Secretary an application that--
(A) includes a status report on the condition of the
infrastructure and associated artifacts of each of the
California missions for which the Foundation is seeking
financial assistance; and
(B) describes a comprehensive program for the
restoration, repair, and preservation of the
infrastructure and artifacts referred to in
subparagraph (A), including--
(i) a description of the prioritized
preservation activities to be conducted over a
5-year period; and
(ii) an estimate of the costs of the
(4) Applicable law.--Consistent with section 101(e)(4) of the
National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470a(e)(4)), the
Secretary shall ensure that the purpose of any grant or other
financial assistance provided by the Secretary to the
Foundation under this Act--
(A) is secular;
(B) does not promote religion; and
(C) seeks to protect qualities that are historically
(c) Review and Determination.--
(1) In general.--The Secretary shall submit a proposed
agreement to the Attorney General for review.
(2) Determination.--A cooperative agreement entered into
under subsection (a) shall not take effect until the Attorney
General issues a finding that the proposed agreement submitted
under paragraph (1) does not violate the establishment clause
of the first amendment of the Constitution.
(d) Report.--As a condition of receiving financial assistance under
this Act, the Foundation shall annually submit to the Secretary and to
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the
Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives a report that
describes the status of the preservation activities carried out using
amounts made available under this Act.
SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out
this Act $10,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2004 through 2009.
(b) Matching Requirement.--Any amounts made available to carry out
this Act shall be matched on not less than a 1-to-1 basis by the
(c) Other Amounts.--Any amounts made available to carry out this Act
shall be in addition to any amounts made available for preservation
activities in the State under the National Historic Preservation Act
(16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.).
PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE
The purpose of H.R. 1446 is to authorize the Secretary of
the Interior to make grants to the California Missions
Foundation to restore and repair the Spanish colonial and
mission-era missions in the State of California and to preserve
the artwork and artifacts of these missions.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The California missions were established by the Catholic
Church as religious and cultural centers. Stretching from San
Diego to as far north as Sonoma, 21 missions were constructed,
marking the steady march of the Spanish as they colonized the
territory that eventually became California.
The oldest mission, Mission San Diego de Alcala in San
Diego, was founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. The last
mission built was Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma,
completed in 1823. With Mexico's independence from Spain came
secularization, followed by the American occupation. After the
initial 65-year period of operation, the missions, built of
adobe and wood, by and large fell into ruin.
Since the late 1800s, groups and individuals who recognized
the historical, sociological, and artistic importance of these
settlements spearheaded efforts to restore and reconstruct
them. In 1948, for instance, the Hearst Mission Restoration
Fund was established with a grant of $500,000. Yet until now no
single entity has looked after the missions' long-term
preservation and restoration needs. There has been no major
campaign on behalf of all the California missions for many
The missions are the most visited historical sites in the
State with 5.5 million visitors per year and are a part of the
Statewide fourth grade curricula. Of the 21 California
missions, 19 do not receive support from any governmental
agency. Most rely solely on nominal visitor fees, proceeds from
gift shop sales and donations.
H.R. 1446 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make
grants to the California Missions Foundation to support the
efforts of the Foundation to restore and repair the California
missions and to preserve the artworks and artifacts associated
with them. The grant program is for 5 years and totals $10
million. The legislation also contains a requirement for
H.R. 1446 was introduced by Representative Farr on March
26, 2003 and passed the House of Representatives by voice vote
on October 10, 2003. Companion legislation, S. 1306, was
introduced by Senators Boxer and Feinstein on June 20, 2003.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources'
Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on H.R. 1446 and
S. 1306 on March 9, 2004. At the business meeting on September
15, 2004, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered
H.R. 1446, as amended, favorably reported.
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open
business session on September 15, 2004, by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 1446, if
amended as described herein. Senator Thomas voted no.
During its consideration of H.R. 1446, the Committee
adopted an amendment in the nature of a substitute. In addition
to removing the section detailing congressional findings the
amendment requires that the Attorney General review the
proposed agreement between the California Missions Foundation
and the Secretary of the Interior and issue a finding that the
agreement does not violate the Establishment
Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. This
requirement is similar to one that applies to the San Antonio
Missions National Historical Park in Texas. The amendment also
requires that a California mission must be on the National
Register of Historic Places to be eligible to receive financial
or other grant assistance under this Act. The amendment is
described in detail in the section-by-section analysis below.
Section 1 entitles this bill the ``California Missions
Section 2 defines key terms used in this Act.
Section 3(a) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to
enter into cooperative agreements with the California Missions
Foundation to provide financial and technical assistance to
repair and restore the mission buildings and the artwork and
other artifacts associated with them.
Subsection (b) allows the cooperative agreement to
authorize the Secretary to make grants to the Foundation. To be
eligible to receive a grant or other financial assistance under
this Act, a mission must be listed on the National Register of
Historic Places. The Foundation must submit a grant application
that includes a condition assessment and a comprehensive
program for restoration, repair, and preservation of the
infrastructure and artifacts of each California mission. The
application must also contain a 5-year prioritized preservation
plan for the mission and its artifacts and estimate the cost of
the program . As provided in section 101(e)(4) of the National
Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470a(e)(4)), the Secretary
shall ensure that the purpose of a grant under this section is
secular, does not promote religion, and seeks to protect those
qualities that are historically significant.
Subsection (c) directs the Secretary to submit a proposed
agreement as described in subsection (b) to the Attorney
General for review. The agreement shall not take effect until
the Attorney General has issued a finding that the agreement
does not violate the establishment clause of the first
amendment of the Constitution.
Subsection (d) directs the California Missions Foundation
to submit to the Secretary an annual report on the status of
the preservation efforts using grant funds. In addition, this
section requires the Secretary to submit a copy of the report
Section 4 authorizes to be appropriated a total of $10
million for fiscal years 2004 through 2009. Any funds made
available under this Act shall be matched on not less than a
one to one basis by the Foundation. Funds appropriated under
this section shall be in addition to any funds made available
for preservation efforts in the State of California under the
National Historic Preservation Act.
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of the cost of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
H.R. 1446--California Missions Preservation Act
Summary: H.R. 1446 would authorize the appropriation of $10
million over the 2004-2009 period to restore 21 historic
Spanish missions in California. Most of this funding would be
used by the Department of the Interior to provide grants to the
California Missions Foundation, a nonprofit corporation
established for that purpose.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1446 would cost $10
million over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the
authorized amount. Enacting H.R. 1446 would not affect revenues
or direct spending.
H.R. 1446 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal
Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated
budgetary impact of H.R. 1446 over the 2005-2009 period is
shown in the following table. For this estimate, CBO assumes
that the $10 million authorization will be appropriated evenly
over the 2005-2009 period. Estimated outlays are based on
historical spending patterns for similar programs. The costs of
this legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural
resources and environment).
By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Estimated authorization level...................................... 2 2 2 2 2
Estimated outlays.................................................. 2 2 2 2 2
Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1446
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or
Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo Lex; and Impact on
the Private Sector: Jean Talarico.
Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out H.R. 1446.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of H.R. 1446.
On February 25, 2004, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting
forth Executive agency recommendations on H.R. 1446. These
reports had not been received when this report was filed. The
testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at the
Subcommittee hearing on H.R. 1446 follows:
Statement of P. Daniel Smith, Special Assistant, National Park Service,
Department of the Interior
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of
the Interior's views on S. 1306 and H.R. 1446 authorizing the
Secretary of the Interior to make matching, historic
preservation grants to the California Missions Foundation to
restore and repair California's historically significant
Spanish mission buildings and their associated historic
artworks and artifacts. Under this bill, grants up to $10
million over a 5-year period would be made through the
authority of Section 101 of the National Historic Preservation
While the goal of this legislation is admirable, the
Department opposes S. 1306 and H.R. 1446. We cannot support
this new Federal funding commitment at a time when we are
trying to focus our available resources on taking care of
existing National Park Service responsibilities. Nor can we
support legislative earmarks that would effectively take
limited and critically needed historic preservation operations
funding away and divert it to these specific purposes under the
National Historic Preservation Act. The Department strongly
supports the principle that States, tribes, and local
governments--not the Federal government--are best suited to
determine the highest priorities for awarding grants in each
jurisdiction under the Historic Preservation Fund. This has
been the guiding idea of the National Historic Preservation Act
since its passage in the mid-1960s. Under the current process,
the Department allocates blocks of funds to States and to
Indian tribes who then, in turn, award funding to properties
and projects that meet the most urgent needs within the
individual jurisdiction. There are many and very worthy
projects everywhere, including other individual and classes of
historic building that are regrettably in need of assistance
from the Historic Preservation Fund.
The Department of the Interior does support efforts to
preserve for this and future generations the story of Father
Junipero Serra and the founding of California's incomparable
chain of colonial-era missions. Over a 54-year period beginning
in 1769, Serra, and his fellow Jesuits, followed later by the
Franciscans, built with native Indian labor a chain of mission
complexes that today stretch along the coast for 600 miles from
San Diego to Sonoma--north of San Francisco. It is a rich story
of tenacity, bravery, cultural conflict, greed, mistrust, and,
ultimately, hope. As a Nation, we are richer for Serra and his
compatriot's struggles and for the labors of California's
native peoples. We also are fortunate that so many of these
remarkable historic places survive in California today. The
Department recognizes that these missions are powerful tangible
evidence of our Nation's remarkable story and worthy of our
care and attention.
We believe, however, that there are other sources of
funding available for the restoration at the California
missions. One national example is the Save America's Treasures
program that awards grants for preservation and conservation
work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural
artifacts and nationally significant historic structures and
sites. Each California Mission is a ``national class property''
and would, we believe, compete favorably in the Save America's
Treasures program as well in any other fundraising campaign.
The Department would be more than happy to work with the
California Missions Foundation to develop Save America's
Treasures applications as well as fundraising strategies to
accomplish this important work.
We note that Section 3(c) of S. 1306 and H.R. 1446 requires
detailed professional condition assessments and scopes of work
to ensure that preservation and conservation needs are fully
assessed, that the highest priority and most critical work is
undertaken, and that any work supported by these grants meets
the highest professional standards. The California missions are
historic properties significant to every American citizen and
we must ensure that any work done there is of the highest
Should S. 1306 or H.R. 1446 move to a committee markup, we
would suggest requiring a formal partnership role for the
appropriate Catholic Church archdioceses where the missions
remain active churches and in church ownership. Without the
full partnership and support of the Church, the most effective
and best long-term preservation of these national treasures
cannot be assured.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to provide our
comments on S. 1306 and H.R. 1446. This concludes my prepared
testimony. I would be glad to answer any questions that you or
the members of the committee may have.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by the Act H.R. 1446, as