Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tx Senate Approves Short Term Park Funding

Parks would receive more of tax, not all

Web Posted: 05/28/2007 11:04 PM CDT
Gary Scharrer
Austin bureau

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers gave final approval Monday to increasing spending for state and local parks but stopped short of using all of the sporting goods tax revenue supporters said is necessary for the long-term vitality of parks.

"This is mixed. Short term, we did great, but long term is very much a question," said House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Chairman Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, a longtime champion of state and local parks.

A special parks advisory committee last year recommended a 10-year plan and urged lawmakers to allocate all of the sporting goods tax revenue for state and local parks.

The bill would increase funding for state and local parks by $156 million, and it includes a $44 million bond issue that requires voter approval in the November election.

"It's a good, solid package, and it's a good first step," said George Bristol, vice chairman of the parks advisory committee. "Basically, we got almost everything we wanted for the first two years. Obviously, it will take longer than two years to fix up the parks." more

Well at least they don't have to can any more employees and will be able to repair the equipment they have. We'll be rehashing this issue shortly after W leaves office and who knows what the political climate will be like then.