State Cutbacks Could Jeopardize Texas Parks

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is warning
that 18 state parks may close if lawmakers don't spare the agency
from mandatory budget cuts ordered by Governor Rick Perry.

Agency Director Robert Cook also hinted at the loss of 44 full-time jobs and $4 million in cutbacks at local parks. He did not specify what parks would be in jeopardy.

Cook says the cutbacks may be neccessary if the parks
departments complies with Perry's request for state agencies to
trim budgets by 10 percent.

The agency must submit its new appropriations request to
lawmakers next month.

A spokeswoman for Perry says the governor opposes the opposes
the shutdown of historical sites -- but that the agency should
consider options for parks that receive few visitors.

Texas ranks 49th among the 50 states in per capita spending on
parks. The agency's current budget is $56 million.