SB 234

84(R) - 2015
Senate Intergovernmental Relations
Senate Intergovernmental Relations
County Affairs
Culture, Recreation, & Tourism
House County Affairs & Local Government
Intergovernmental Affairs
Land Management
Property Rights

Vote Recommendation

  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Relating to the creation and operation of a park and recreation district in counties that share a border on the San Marcos River and to the authority of the district to collect fees; creating an offense and providing penalties.

Fiscal Notes

Because the bill would not have statewide impact on units of local government of the same type or class, no comment from this office is required by the rules of the House/Senate as to its probable fiscal implication on units of local government.

Bill Analysis

SB 234 seeks to create a park along the San Marcos River between Caldwell and Guadalupe counties but allows for greater land acquisition once initially established via petition by voters of a county election precinct along the San Marcos River. The district would be created under the pretext of conserving natural resources and improving the public health, safety, and welfare of the district. Rules and ordinances constituting criminal penalties may be adopted by the district. The district also would be authorized to collect a fee of up to $3 from persons who rent equipment or shuttle services for river use. Revenue collected by the district would be used to pay for necessary law enforcement and cleanup services.The district may not exercise the power of eminent domain nor can it levy ad valorem taxes. 

The district would only be created if passed by county-wide election. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

SB 234 seeks to create a recreation district along the San Marcos River, through popular vote, to help protect the natural resources and public health, safety, and welfare at the expense of local businesses currently along the river. in doing so, however, SB 234's primary concern is with underage drinking and littering. Both of which are already illegal. This bill would create new misdemeanor criminal offenses which are unnecessary to enforce laws already on the books. 

SB 234's approach is heavy handed and anti-free market that could cause a downturn in local tourism.The recreation district along the San Marcos River would also severely hurt local businesses through the fees imposed by the district on rentals and shuttle services. Small local business that are unable to absorb these extra costs would have to pass them onto the consumer. This in turn could drive down business and the new district would still not have the funding it seeks. 

Local government can find better ways to enforce existing law instead of driving up costs of entertainment and creating a new governmental entity. We are opposed to this legislation.