FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/26/2011
REP. PARKER'S THREE PART LAKE RECREATIONAL SAFETY BILL PACKAGE CLOSE TO BECOMING STATE LAW
All three key components are now on their way to the Governor's desk
(Austin, Texas) Today Representative Tan Parker announced that his legislative package regarding lake recreational safety is near completion as the 82nd Legislative Session draws close to its conclusion. The three individual bills were the direct result of the work performed by the Advisory Panel on Recreational Boating Safety, which Parker created in 2009 to examine ways that Texas could improve upon its current state of lake safety.
"The 82nd Legislature has been a great session for lake recreational safety," Parker stated. "Because of the actions taken by this legislature, fewer senseless injuries and deaths will occur on our public waterways."
Two of the three bills comprising Representative Parker's package were approved by the Senate last week. Today the third piece of the package was also approved by the Texas Senate and sent to the Governor's desk to be signed into law. The lead piece of legislation, House Bill 1395, will require a boat operator education course for all operators born after September 1, 1993. This slow phase-in approach is very similar to Texas' system of hunter education, which has made hunting substantially safer. Current law today only requires boat operator education for individuals between the ages of 13 - 15 who wish to operate a watercraft without adult supervision. Parker noted that previous attempts to expand upon this boat operator education requirement in Texas were met with stiff opposition that prevented the bills from being debated.
"I had the tremendous honor of carrying this legislation," Parker concluded, "but I would be remiss to not mention that this success was only possible because all stakeholders in this process - law enforcement, sportsmen, boat enthusiasts, boat retailers, concerned citizens and others - were diligent in their efforts to work together to help write a bill that makes the most sense for Texas. House Bill 1395, as well as this entire package, is the product of several stakeholders putting their personal interests aside for the betterment of public safety in Texas."
Representative Parker also authored House Bill 596, which specifically prohibits dangerous boating maneuvers around water-skiers that has lead to deaths in the past. His third bill, House Bill 673, directs the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to develop a video on water safety instruction for high school students in Texas.
Initially elected on November 7th of 2006, Representative Parker represents both rural and urban parts of Denton County which encompasses the cities of Flower Mound, Highland Village, Pilot Point, Argyle, Aubrey, Krugerville, Sanger, Cross Roads, Krum, Ponder, Justin, Lantana, Northlake, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Bartonville, Trophy Club, Roanoke and portions of Lewisville and Southlake.
Serving in his third term in the Texas Legislature, Representative Parker is focusing his efforts on economic development, job creation, further property tax relief, appraisal reform, strengthening border security and immigration policy, promoting fiscally responsible government spending and protecting family values. Parker is the current Vice Chairman of the Rules and Resolutions Committee. He also serves on the Corrections and Urban Affairs Committees.