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News / Blog Action Alerts! Save State Parks Funding for Texas: Contact the TX Lege Now

Save State Parks Funding for Texas: Contact the TX Lege Now

Action Alert Header
HB 78 Goes Before the House Appropriation Committee on May 4
HB 78 Makes State Parks Funding Permanent

The Texas Sporting Goods Sales Tax was created to fund Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD)– not to be used for other purposes at the whim of the legislature. But both House and Senate appropriations committees are poised to carve out $92 million from the sporting good sales tax to do just that.

This can be fixed now! The Budget Conference Committee can correct this error before the budget is ultimately finalized. If your Senator or Rep is on the Conference Committee, ask him or her to fully fund state parks.

Additionally, House Bill 78 by Representative Ryan Gullien has been filed to fix this glitch so that the $92 million can be recovered and bring TWPD funding up to its full level. HB 78 will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, May 4Please contact your reps immediately and tell them you support Texas State Parks.

In addition to developing and maintaining our priceless State Parks, TPWD provides Recreational Trails funding for trails all over the state, including rail-to-trail corridors such as Caprock Canyons, Mineral Wells, and the proposed 130-mile long Northeast Texas Trail from near McKinney though Paris to near Texarkana. This valuable work should be supported by our legislature, not curtailed through choking off funding.

Here's what you can do to support Texas State Parks: 

  • Find your Texas Representative and Senator and head to their respective contact pages. Not sure what to do? See the illustrations below. (Please look up your own representatives; don't just call the folks listed here--they might not represent you!)
  • Is your Rep or Senator on the Budget Conference Committee? Ask him or her to fully fund state parks.
  • Call or email your Rep and Senator and urge both to support HB 78 to bring TPWD up to its full funding level with YOUR Texas Sporting Goods Sales Tax.
  • Keep in mind you'll most likely speak to a legislative staffer, not the Rep or Senator. 
We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:
  • My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in District ____. I support Texas State Parks.
  • (If applicable) Please correct the $92 million shortfall in the TPWD budget by appropriating the 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax that was intended for parks into the TPWD budget.
  • Please support HB 78 by Rep. Ryan Guillen, scheduled for a hearing on May 4 in House Appropriations Committee.
  • (Use any/all of the suggested talking points below as they relate to you. Help your elected officials understand why this is an important issue for you.)
  1. State and local parks are vital to our state’s economy and to preserving our Texas heritage, culture, and way of life. 
  2. This bill would amend the Parks and Wildlife Code and permanently require that 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax be appropriated for the state and local parks, as it was intended.
  3. I am proud to join a diverse range of voters in supporting our parks. From hunting and fishing groups, to environmentalists and conservation organizations, we stand together in support of proper funding for our parks.
  4. The Comptroller’s revenue estimate for the 2018-2019 biennium budget shows the Sporting Goods Sales Tax will bring in an estimated $333.5 million. Under the tax code, 94% of that should be appropriated for state and local parks, which would amount to $313.5 million. However, there is currently a $92.5 million shortfall in the budget.
  5. As a proud Texan and friend of the parks, I am calling on you to fully fund the parks so that the department will have consistency in its budget and be able to properly maintain and operate our state parks for all Texans to enjoy.
  • Thank you for your time and consideration.  
Thank you for speaking up for state parks funding in Texas! One more way to help--please share this with any bike, trail, or park groups you may be part of, plus all of your friends who love Texas State Parks. Let's let the lege know Texans want great parks!
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