Houston Newsmakers for Jan. 6: 86th State Legislative Session Starts January 8th

Bettencourt and Wu Talk about Challenges Ahead

HOUSTON – When the State Legislature opens January 8th for the 2019 session, tax reform and school finance are sure to be near the top of the priority list. State Senator Paul Bettencourt, (R) 7th says one of the changes he’ll push for is a change in the Robin Hood formula used to finance schools in Texas.

“As values go up, tax rates never go down,” Bettencourt said. “Local taxpayers pay more every year but the state pays less, and that extra money effectively ends up as a budge prop for the state.”

DOCUMENT: Read the final school finance report

State Representative Gene Wu, (D) 137th, agrees and says the challenge will be to agree on the best way to fund schools so all students will have an equal share of the finances. Wu also will push for a better way to help those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey and says the state should help those needing to pay matching amounts to receive federal money.

“For not just for Houston but for a lot of the little surrounding areas in the state and on the coast they can’t afford that local match,” Wu said. “The state needs to come in and provide a low-income loan to them in order for them to get that match.”

See the full interview on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall AND see bonus coverage on this week’s Newsmakers EXTRA here.

Houston Marathon Reaches 30 Million for Local Charities

The Chevron Houston Marathon weekend is Jan. 17 through the 21 when runners from 50 states and 40 countries will converge on Houston. 33 thousand runners will take part in the race with thousands more volunteering and cheering them on. The end result will be happiness for those who compete and much needed financial support for the charities the race supports.

“It’s the most important thing we do,” said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee.  

“Our runners are philanthropic, they give back to the community and these 65 charities we pick each year. This money goes to them and helps them with all of their programs year round, not just race weekend,” Morehead said.

Find out more about how you can still take part in at least one race and volunteer to help the Chevron Houston Marathon help others.

More Information:

  • Paul Bettencourt, (R), State Senator, District 7
  • https://bit.ly/2TbTqqe
  • 713-464-0282
  • Twitter: @TeamBettencourt​​​


  • Gene Wu, (D) State Representative, District 137
  • https://bit.ly/2QUfjh0 
  • 713-271-3900
  • Twitter: @GeneforTexas    


  • Wade Morehead, Executive Director, Houston Marathon Committee & Foundation
  • https://bit.ly/JkHr4V 
  • 713-957-3453
  • Twitter: @HoustonMarathon    
  • Houston Marathon Mobil app:  https://bit.ly/1Pgkr1Y 




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