Senate Bill 941 Clears Texas House
AUSTIN, TX – May 11, 2021 – Scenic Texas is one step closer to establishing a State Scenic Byways Program in Texas, the nonprofit announced today. Senate Bill 941 by Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and sponsored by Rep. Eddie Morales (D-Eagle Pass) passed the Texas House of Representatives today.
Texas is the only state in the nation that is not part of the Scenic Byway Program, a federal program to preserve and acknowledge dozens of scenic roads across the state. Approximately 30 Texas highways in the Transportation Code are already eligible to receive federal funding through the Texas Department of Transportation if their local communities choose to apply for funds.
“These scenic drives aren’t just important to our visual environment, they also boost economic development and tourism in communities along designated scenic byways,” said Sarah Tober, President of Scenic Texas.
“The pandemic has also brought about a revival of the great American road trip,” Tober added. “When planning their trips, many Americans use the National Scenic Byways map to guide them. We’ve got to make sure Texas is on the map.
“We’re grateful for the leadership of Senator Buckingham and Representative Morales in pursuing this common-sense legislation that will ultimately bolster our local economies and protect our visual environment,” Tober said.
Three scenic byways are located in Sen. Buckingham’s district, while four are located in Rep. Morales’ district, each of which would allow federal funds to flow to numerous adjacent communities.
Passage by the Texas House is the last step before the bill is sent to the Governor to be signed into law. SB 941 passed the Texas Senate by a vote of 30-1 in April.
For more information on the Texas Scenic Byways program, the interactive state map of the 30 scenic byways, and the National Scenic Byways Program, visit scenictexas.org/state-scenic-byway-program. The site includes an interactive map demonstrating the 30 stretches of Texas roads currently protected by state law that would fall under this program.
Scenic Texas, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of our state’s visual environment, particularly as seen by the traveling public.