The 86th Session of the Texas Legislature was a banner session for Texas Parks.
The headline is the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 24 and Senate Bill 26, which paves the way for the constitutional dedication of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax.
On Tuesday, November 5, Texans will head to the polls and vote on that amendment. We want to ensure our amendment not only passes – but passes with overwhelming support! We need your communications vehicles to amplify the message of the campaign and get people to the polls.
Other State Park highlights from the session include:
- HB1, the state budget for the fiscal years 2020 and 2021 allocated $321,574,000 in Sporting Goods Sales Tax (SGST) revenue for the two-year period, TPWD’s full share!
- $12.5 million was appropriated for the development of the new Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, which will be leveraged with federal funds and private donations, and supplemented with road construction funding through TxDOT.
- 52 additional positions for parks were approved.
- $8.0 million for the repair of damages caused by Hurricane Harvey
- $5.0 million for repairs to the Wyler Tramway
In addition, $35 million in Rainy Day funds were appropriated for repairs to the Battleship Texas, which will be operated by the Battleship Texas Foundation under a lease with TPWD. $500,000 was allocated for the safekeeping of historical items during the repair project.
Finally, six State Historic Sites were transferred from State Park management to the Texas Historical Commission. These Historic Sites are: Fanthorp Inn, Lipantitlan, Port Isabel Lighthouse, Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery, San Jacinto Batteground and Washington-on-the-Brazos. With the transfer of these sites, future SGST allocations to TPWD will be reduced from 94% of total SGST revenue to 93%, and the Historical Commission will receive an additional 1% of SGST funds.