S.C.R. No. 37
  WHEREAS, Seaport activities generate more than $4 trillion in
  economic activity each year, representing more than a quarter of
  United States gross domestic product and yielding more than $41
  billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue; and
         WHEREAS, To support this critical component of international
  trade, the United States Congress established the Harbor
  Maintenance Tax (HMT) on shippers in 1986 as a means of funding the
  maintenance and improvement of vital harbor infrastructure; and
         WHEREAS, HMT revenues deposited into the Harbor Maintenance
  Trust Fund now total about $1.6 billion annually, but in recent
  years, Congress has appropriated less than half of those funds for
  the intended purpose, leading to a decline in dredging and
  maintenance by the United States Army Corps of Engineers; the
  consequence is an accumulation of sediment that leaves navigation
  channels narrower and shallower, and when silted channels constrain
  vessels from carrying full loads or force them to wait for high
  tide, the costs of imports and exports rise, as does the risk of
  vessel grounding and associated oil spills; the Corps of Engineers
  has estimated that the full depth and width of our coastal ports is
  available less than 35 percent of the time, costing the economy
  billions of dollars annually; and
         WHEREAS, Each year, the HMT provides an amount sufficient to
  meet all of the nation's authorized harbor maintenance needs, but
  as a result of lagging appropriations, the Harbor Maintenance Trust
  Fund had a balance of more than $9 billion at the start of 2016; in
  Texas alone, less than 25 percent of the HMT revenue collected in
  the state has been appropriated for harbor maintenance; and
         WHEREAS, Our nation's ports are vital to our economic
  prosperity and global competitiveness, and these funds, which were
  collected for the express purpose of the maintenance and
  improvement of the ports, should be put to work; now, therefore, be
         RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby respectfully urge the United States Congress to increase
  appropriations from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to ensure
  that the nation's ship channels are appropriately maintained and
  safe; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
  the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of
  Representatives of the United States Congress, and to all the
  members of the Texas delegation to Congress with the request that
  this resolution be entered in the Congressional Record as a
  memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.C.R. No. 37 was adopted by the Senate
  on May 4, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.C.R. No. 37 was adopted by the House
  on May 24, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, two
  present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House