Strawn Chamber Seeks Support for Palo Pinto Mountain State Park Funding

From the Strawn Chamber of Commerce:

We are contacting you today to ask that you take action and help us support Texas State Parks and in particular the development of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.

In 2015, the Legislature passed and Governor Abbott signed into law HB 158, which unambiguously dedicated 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax (SGST) for Texas state and local parks (the other 6% is dedicated to the Texas Historical Commission).   However, because of an unforeseen error in the wording of a related piece of legislation, the “fix” that was to direct the SGST toward Texas parks was not permanent, as intended by the Legislature

Fast forward to 2017 and the 85th Legislature, this “loophole” has allowed both the House and the Senate to not fully dedicate the SGST funds to Texas parks.  Based on the Comptroller’s estimates for the 2018/2019 biennium budget, the SGST will generate roughly $333.5 million; however, BOTH the Senate and House versions of the proposed budget have shortchanged Texas parks by roughly $100 million.

Although the opportunity has passed to permanently fix the funding for YOUR Texas State Parks this legislative session, it’s not too late to make the Legislature live up to their promise to finally and fully fund TX Parks for the next two years (2018/2019 Biennium).

Please note:  This severe decrease in funding not only impacts Texas State Parks and Historic sites but it will severely limit the state grant money that is used to build local parks and playgrounds, walking/running trails, ballparks, greenspaces, etc.

At this juncture, the final 2018/2019 Biennium Budget is being hashed out by the Budget Conference Committee. The five Senators and five Representatives on this Committee, along with the Speaker and the Lieutenant Governor, will have the final say as how much funding Texas Parks will receive.

If you want to see Palo Pinto Mountains State Park developed and/or any of the other 103 State Parks repaired/maintained as well as the 21 State Historic Sites preserved, then please take 15 minutes to call and email these twelve legislators TODAY!    The attached list provides the names and contact information for these legislators.
The land for the Palo Pinto property was purchased with private money over 10 years ago and in that decade, the Legislature has missed numerous opportunities to fund the development of this pristine park that will serve a nearby population of 12 million Texans.

The people of Fort Worth & Tarrant County have done their part, the people of Strawn and Palo Pinto County have done their part, and the people of North Texas have supported and waited patiently for this park.   NOW is the time for the Legislature to do its part and fund the development of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park.
Contact these Legislators today and respectfully ask them to “fully fund Texas State Parks and re-instate the $100 million that has been diverted from the Sporting Goods Sales tax so that Palo Pinto Mountains State Park can finally be built”!

Member Location Phone email
Leadership
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick Houston 512-463-0001 logan@danpatrick.org
Speaker Joe Straus San Antonio 512-463-1000 joe.straus@speaker.state.tx.us
Budget Conference Committee
Sen. Jane Nelson, Co-Chair Fort Worth 512-463-0112 jane.nelson@senate.texas.gov
Sen. Charles Schwertner Georgetown 512-463-0105 Charles.Schwertner@senate.texas.gov
Sen. Joan Huffman Houston 512-463-0117 Joan.Huffman@senate.texas.gov
Sen. Juan Hinojosa McAllen 512-463-0120 juan.hinojosa@senate.texas.gov
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst Brenham 512-463-0118 Lois.Kolkhorst@senate.texas.gov
Rep. John Zerwas, Co-chair Richmond 512-463-0657 john.zerwas@house.texas.gov
Rep. Sarah Davis Houston 512-463-0389 sarah.davis@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Trent Ashby Lufkin 512-463-0508 Trent.Ashby@house.texas.gov
Rep. Oscar Longoria Mission 512-463-0645 Oscar.Longoria@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Larry Gonzales Round Rock 512-463-0670 larry.gonzales@house.state.tx.us
Area Legislators
Sen. Craig Estes Wichita Falls 512-463-0130 craig.estes@senate.texas.gov
Sen. Charles Perry Lubbock 512-463-0128 charles.perry@senate.texas.gov
Sen. Mike Lang Granbury 512-463-0656 mike.lang@house.texas.gov
Rep. Drew Springer Muenster 512-463-0526 drew.springer@house.texas.gov