Legislative Update: HB 1756 Supports County Preservation Efforts

A change has been proposed to state law that will make it possible for all Texas counties to fund preservation projects. Preservation Texas supports this change.

What is proposed?
House Bill 1756 and Senate Bill 1542 are identical. Both would change existing law to allow counties of any size to grant money from the county’s general fund to a nonprofit organization to purchase, construct, restore, preserve, maintain, or reconstruct historic landmarks and buildings of significance to the county.

Why is this change needed?
Currently, the state’s Local Government Code only allows counties with a population between 239,000 and 825,000 to do this. The proposed change in the law would treat all counties equally and create opportunities for nonprofits to partner with their county government to save our Texas heritage, regardless of the county’s size.

What can I do to share my support?
House Bill 1756 is scheduled for a public hearing tomorrow (April 1st) in Austin. The hearing is being held by the County Affairs Committee. It is very easy to provide direct comment on this bill through your computer using the Texas House Public Comment Portal:
To do so, follow the link above and after entering your contact information, type HB 1756 into the “Bill Number” search window and click on the magnifying glass. HB 1756 should then appear at the top of the list of bills on your web browser. Click “select” and enter your comments into the text box and submit. Your comments will be tied directly to the bill and publicly accessible.
The Senate Bill has been referred to the Senate’s Local Government Committee but a hearing has not yet been scheduled.

For your reference, the text of the proposed change to state law is below.
Sec. 318.021.  APPROPRIATIONS TO HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS[: CERTAIN COUNTIES]. The commissioners court of a county [with a population of 239,000 to 825,000] may appropriate money from the general fund of the county to a historical foundation or organization in the county for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, restoring, preserving, maintaining, or reconstructing historical landmarks, buildings, and furnishings that are of historical significance to the county. The foundation or organization must be incorporated under the law of this state as a nonprofit corporation.