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Rep.Zwiener, Erin

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Texas Legislature Sends Rep. Erin Zwiener’s Dark Skies Bill to Governor’s Desk  print page

by: Rep. Zwiener, Erin
05/24/2019

Austin, TX — Towns in Hays and Blanco Counties are a signature away from a new tool to reduce light pollution and preserve their dark skies. The Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill, HB 4158 by State Rep. Erin Zwiener passed the Texas Senate late Tuesday night and is now headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. The legislation would allow small cities in Hays and Blanco Counties to use revenue from the municipal hotel occupancy tax to preserve the night sky.

“You know, there’s a reason folks write songs about the stars at night in Texas,” Rep. Zwiener said. “Our pristine night skies provide a spectacle for locals and visitors alike, and as our counties continue to grow, we must preserve them. This bill gives our communities one more tool to do so, which will attract visitors, sustain local businesses, and maintain our way of life.”

Dripping Springs and Wimberley in Hays County are two of the three Texas cities certified as International Dark Sky communities. (Horseshoe Bay in Llano County is the third.) The City of Blanco is applying to be the fourth. Advocates in House District 45 proposed the Hill Country Night Sky Tourism to Rep. Zwiener and worked with her to ensure its passage.

“I’d like to thank the dark skies advocates throughout Hays and Blanco Counties and Senators Zaffirini and Buckingham for their work on this legislation,” said Rep. Zwiener. “The Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill is a big win for our local businesses and everyone who enjoys gazing at our dark skies. I’m optimistic that Governor Abbott will sign it into law and protect the unique beauty of the Hill Country.”

Contact: Holly Doyle

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