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Austin -- This week, Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) was awarded the Scenic Hero award, the highest honor given by Scenic Texas. It recognizes outstanding work at the Texas Legislature and the significant impact on the scenic mission for the State of Texas.

"I am honored to receive the Scenic Hero award from Scenic Texas," said Senator Nichols. "It is important to ensure that as our state continues to grow and businesses expand in their advertising, we do what we can to preserve the beauty of our state."

“These Texas Legislators that we are honoring have been instrumental in supporting

good legislation, like last session’s passage of SB 357 limiting the height of billboards,

and killing bad legislation that takes away from citizens’ ability to safeguard the scenic

qualities of Texas roadways, countryside, and communities,” said Scenic Texas

Executive Director Sarah Tober.

Senator Nichols was specifically honored for his work as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and as author of Senate Bill 357. This bill ensures the height of a commercial billboard is limited to 60 feet, except for a sign existing or erected before March 2017 which may not be higher than 85 feet. In a previous session, Senator Nichols authored a bill which led to better enforcement of illegal signs erected across the Lone Star State.

Scenic Texas, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and

enhancing the visual character of Texas. We are the only state nonprofit that helps

citizens safeguard the scenic qualities of Texas roadways, countryside, and

communities. Scenic Texas is an affiliate of Scenic America.

In the Texas Senate, Nichols serves as Chairman for the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Senate Finance, Administration, Intergovernmental Relations, Business and Commerce Committees. He is a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and previous member of the Sunset Advisory Committee. Nichols was named President Pro Tempore by his colleagues in the Texas Senate at the end of the 85th Legislative Session.

During his seven sessions as a state senator, Nichols authored and passed legislation to protect landowners' rights, increase educational opportunities in East Texas and reform transportation policies. He has worked to reduce Medicaid fraud, and promote free-market principles. He was designated as a Champion for Children by the Equity Center and a Fighter of Free Enterprise by the Texas Association of Business, and a Top 10 Best Legislator for the 85th Legislative Session by Texas Monthly Magazine