Houston-area museums will soon be forced to open to the public after a state lawmaker threatened to defund the public’s right to visit the city.
The legislation, passed on Thursday, is expected to make the city’s museums a lot more affordable.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Campbell, D-Corpus Christi, was one of several that have been introduced this year in a bid to make Houston’s museums more accessible to tourists and visitors from around the world.
A recent survey by the University of Houston found that nearly 70% of Houstonians do not know how to get to museums.
The state is also working on a new museum policy that will allow the public to access a city-run museum for free if they can show up in person, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.
The new bill is expected soon.
But it is unlikely to make any immediate impact.
The Texas Museum of Natural Science, which is in downtown Houston, has been open since 2010.
It is the only state-run facility of its kind, according.
In the past, it has also served as a museum for the National Museum of the American Indian.
The city has not made it an option for tourists.
The Houston Chronicle reported last month that the city is considering banning the public from visiting the museum.
It said the city was also considering creating a non-profit museum that could house the state-funded museum and the private museums that currently exist in the city but are closed due to the state’s budget crisis.
In addition, it reported, the state could shut down a private museum in the state and then try to open a museum there.
Campbell, a former state senator who is now a state representative, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that his bill is aimed at making Houston more accessible for tourists, and he called for the state to make sure the city has a museum “to put in the public park that’s open to all.”
“The only way we’re going to get more people to come to Houston and visit our city is if we’re able to make it more affordable,” he said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the new bill, if passed, will be a good first step.
“I think it will be good for Houston.
It’s a great start to making sure we’re giving the people of Houston a better experience,” Turner said.