Senator Kolkhorst Receives Silver Spur Award from Texas Travel Industry Association

Senator Kolkhorst Receives Silver Spur Award from Texas Travel Industry Association

SAN ANTONIO  – Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) received the Texas Travel Industry Association’s (TTIA) Silver Spur Award at the association’s 30th annual Unity Dinner for her instrumental work in passing Senate Bill 26 and Senate Joint Resolution 24 during last year’s legislative session. The Silver Spur is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and exemplary service to the Texas travel and tourism industry. 

Senate Bill 26 and Senate Joint Resolution 24 became Proposition 5 in last year’s constitutional amendment election and passed overwhelmingly statewide with 88 percent of the vote. 

For many years, Texas state parks were funded primarily through a one-penny-per-pack tax on cigarettes. In 1993, the 73rd Legislature replaced the cigarette tax funding with a portion of revenues derived from the sales tax on sporting goods. The sporting goods sales tax was designed to create a steady stream of funding for our state parks, but the amount of the tax has fluctuated over the years. Under Proposition 5, the entire amount of the already existing state sales tax on sporting goods will be permanently dedicated to state parks and historic sites. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission are already beginning to alleviate an estimated $800 million backlog of deferred maintenance and repairs across the state’s parks and historic sites. 

“It is indeed an honor to receive such a prestigious award and to share the stage with my colleague and good friend, Representative John Cyrier (R-Lockhart),” said Kolkhorst. “Ninety-Five percent of Texas lands are owned privately.  This is why it is so important for every Texan, from the largest cities to the smallest towns, to have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and to learn about Texas’ history by visiting our state’s rich historic sites.”

In accepting the award, Kolkhorst told the crowd of nearly 500, “This was a bi-partisan effort and supported by so many outdoor and history advocate groups. Finally, I want to thank all the voters in our state who share a vision of preserving Texas’ unique and storied history while also guaranteeing future generations of wide open spaces and outdoor experiences that are created by our state and local parks.”

Representative Cyrier and Senator Kolkhorst both represent Gonzales and Lee Counties in their districts. Senator Kolkhorst is the only person in Texas to be a two-time recipient of the Silver Spur Award and she says she accepted the award on behalf of the Texas Senate and the Texas House that passed the bills unanimously 2019.