February 17, 2015 – weekly land trust news

Hi folks,

First off, for those who haven’t heard, last week the US House of Representatives passed HR 644, the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2015 (short title, the America Gives More Act of 2015) by a vote of 279-137. This bill includes making permanent the enhanced conservation easement tax incentive, and the vote is a big victory for conservation.

The voting result (279-137) is right at the 2/3rd majority mark for those who voted. All Oregon Democratic representatives voted ‘no’, while Rep. Walden voted ‘yes’. This party-line vote was consistent with the rest of the House as well, and mirrors the vote of last summer’s 2014 American Gives More Act. Here’s the full voting list.

Before the vote, the White House issued a Statement of Administrative Policy (SAP) opposing the bill, going so far to say — once again — that the President would veto it as it stands. For an explanation on why this is, this article from the Nonprofit Quarterly about last year’s situation is very helpful.

COLT, LTA, and a host of other partners, however, are not daunted by this. The focus now is on the Senate, as well as working with the White House to change their position on the bill. We are hopeful, and will keep you posted.

On to other news:

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