Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Prop 14 creates Centennial Parks Conservation Fund

Dakoda Cross

As a way for Texas to celebrate its 100th anniversary of State Parks, Governor Abbott signed legislation to approve the creation of the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund. This proposition was voted on and passed on Nov. 7. 

Proposition 14 marks the largest investment in parks in Texas history. “We are grateful for devoted advocates like Texas Coalition for State Parks for their continued support of [this] important legislation,” David Yoskowitz, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said.

The proposition will offer a reliable source of income, as Texas Parks and Wildlife has never had a fund specifically for acquiring and managing state parks, despite efforts to increase funding with partners. The new funding will provide $1 billion to create and acquire new parks throughout the state. This constitutional amendment will not add to the costs for Texas taxpayers and will guarantee stable, long-term funding for new parkland.

The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund consists of money appropriated, credited or provided by the legislature. This includes gifts, grants and donations the Parks and Wildlife Department accepts. 

Money collected will be used directly for the creation and improvement of state parks, and any expenses sustained by the fund are provided by the fund. 

Texas passed Senate Bill 1648, which will go hand in hand with Proposition 14 and act as a checks and balances system. SB 1648, which amended the Parks and Wildlife Code, will authorize the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to manage the fund. SB 1648 will be enacted on Jan. 1, 2024. 

This bill will prohibit money in the fund from being used for the department, salaries, employee benefits, costs correlated with employee benefits, the administration of departments, or the upkeep and functioning of state parks. 

Main supporters of this amendment are Environment Texas, the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, Texans for State Parks, the Texas Foundation for Conservation and the Texas Travel Alliance.

“This historic legislation would create a new golden age for our state parks,” Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, stated. “2023 marks the centennial of the Texas state parks system, and we have a lot to celebrate. What a great birthday present to give all Texans for the state parks system’s 100th.”

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About the Contributor
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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