Texas Park Funding Solution in New Bills?
Saying that diverting funds earmarked for Texas state parks compromises the integrity of the state budget and the quality of parks, some legislators are looking to end the practice.
State Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, has filed Senate Bill 175, which would eliminate the diversion of funds from the sporting goods tax, which according to state law is supposed to go toward parks, the Texas Tribune, Austin, reported.
“I’m an outdoors guy myself,” Estes said Thursday (Jan. 31) at a news conference. “It’s important that we maintain all of our parks. It preserves our Texas heritage, and it needs to be carefully guarded not only for us but for future generations.”
State Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, filed similar legislation, House Bill 162. He noted that several parks are years behind in maintenance because they haven’t been getting money intended for them from sources like the sporting goods tax and state parks license plates.
In the current state budget, $184 million pegged for parks was diverted to help balance the overall budget.