from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2007
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes applauds Governor Perry's commitment to increase park funding

Austin - Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) applauds Governor Rick Perry's commitment to increase funding for Texas parks and for giving the issue a prominent place in his State of the State Address today in Austin.

"President Teddy Roosevelt had the vision to create our national park system, and I am proud to see Governor Rick Perry sharing that vision today with this commitment to our state and local parks," said Estes.

Senator Estes filed Senate Bill 252 removing the statutory cap on state park funding and directing all sporting goods sales tax proceeds to parks and wildlife. State parks are funded primarily by proceeds from the sales tax on sporting goods, which bring in about $105 million per year to the state. However, under current law, these proceeds going to the state parks are capped at $32 million and in the most recent state budget, only $23 million were actually directed to the parks.

"I am very pleased to see Governor Perry declare park funding an emergency item for immediate legislative consideration and to highlight the plight of our parks in his State of the State Address," Estes said.

"This session let's spend the sporting goods tax on what it was collected for: to create first-class parks that give our people open spaces and fresh air needed for recreation," said Governor Perry during the State of the State Address to the Legislature.

# # #