Meet your legislators

Meet your legislators Sen. Brandon Creighton[/caption]

Sen. Brandon Creighton • District 4

R-Conroe • Elected: 2006

Recent bills filed:

  • Senate Bill 133 would exempt a firearm or hunting supply from taxes if it was purchased between midnight on the Saturday of the last full weekend in August and midnight on the following Sunday.

  • SB 134 would prevent a governmental entity from entering into a contract with a company for goods or services unless the contract contains verification that it will not and or does not boycott Israel.

Meet your legislators Rep. Mark Keough[/caption]

Rep. Mark Keough • District 15

R-The Woodlands • Elected: 2014

Recent bills filed:

  • House Bill 939 would allow a municipality with a population of 6,500 or less with at least 800 hotel rooms to use revenue from hotel occupancy taxes to enhance tourism. The bill refers to constructing or maintaining a convention center or sports-related facility, which the city of Shenandoah is pursuing.

  • HB 44 would lower the state’s appraisal cap from 110 percent to 105 percent of a home’s value. 

Meet your legislators Rep. Valoree Swanson[/caption]

Rep. Valoree Swanson • District 150

R-Tomball • Elected: 2016

Recent bills filed:

  • HB 1050 asks the Legislature to eliminate property taxes. The bill seeks to eliminate property taxes across the state, effective Jan. 1, 2022. The bill allows five years for future legislatures to determine an alternative funding method to property taxes.

  • HB 1232 would prevent a university from charging more than an amount equal to the total amount of tuition it would have charged for the 2015-16 school year.

Meet your legislators Sen. Paul Bettencourt[/caption]

Sen. Paul Bettencourt • District 7

R-Houston • Elected: 2014

Recent bills filed:

  • SB 542 would create a $100 million school choice tax credit scholarship program to help minimize educational costs so parents can choose an academic option for their child. The bill would allow corporations to receive an insurance premium tax credit from their state tax bill when they contribute to nonprofit agencies that award K-12 scholarships to students with financial and academic need.

Meet your legislators Rep. Cecil Bell[/caption]

Rep. Cecil Bell • District 3

R-Magnolia • Elected: 2012

Recent bills filed:

  • HB 136 would provide a curriculum for high school students to prepare for a variety of postsecondary activities, such as employment, workforce training and college enrollment. The bill would require the state to assist school districts and charter schools with providing career and technology education and effective workforce training opportunities to students.

Other proposals to watch

  • Education: Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, filed a resolution to amend the constitution to ensure Texas pays half the cost of maintaining public schools.

  • Health Care: Two Republicans filed resolutions to call upon Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act; two Democrats filed bills to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

  • Economy: Bettencourt drafted SB 2, which would require an election if a tax rate increase would result in 4 percent revenue growth.

By Marie Leonard
Marie came to Community Impact Newspaper in June 2011 after starting her career at a daily newspaper in East Texas. She worked as a reporter and editor for the Cy-Fair edition for nearly 5 years covering Harris County, Cy-Fair ISD, and local development and transportation news. She then moved to The Woodlands edition and covered local politics and development news in the master-planned community before being promoted to managing editor for the South Houston editions in July 2017.


Tomball ISD board members unanimously approved the decision at a Jan. 12 board meeting. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tomball ISD board approves extended sick leave for district employees for COVID-19

The approval comes after certain sick leave benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired Dec. 31, 2020.

The estimated number of active COVID-19 cases in Harris County has surpassed 50,000, reaching 51,362 as of the most recent data Jan. 20, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Active cases top 50,000

See the latest trends on COVID-19 in Harris County.

The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District regulates groundwater usage in Montgomery County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
New groundwater rules set to abolish previous pumping restrictions in areas including The Woodlands

The entity that regulates groundwater usage in Montgomery County adopted new rules that went into effect in September, and it will set a desired future condition, or DFC, for the local aquifer system in May.

Kairy-tate Barkley is owner and founder of French Cuff Boutique. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper
French Cuff Boutique brings personal styling to The Woodlands customers

Owner Kairy-tate Barkley said she developed the store based on her lifelong appreciation of fashion after she spent years working in the corporate world.

The Conroe ISD board of trustees met Jan. 19 for its regular monthly meeting. (Screenshot via Conroe ISD YouTube)
Conroe ISD board approves Caney Creek attendance boundary changes, 2021-22 calendar

Board members also approved spending for 20 replacement school buses and annual safety and security projects.

Courtesy Baja Sur Fresh-Mex and Tequila Bar
40 restaurants that opened in 2020 or are coming in 2021 in The Woodlands area

Restaurants that opened in The Woodlands area in 2020 include locations that offer a variety of cuisines from casual to fine dining.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about, where, when and how they can get inoculated.

The barbecue eatery is the second Killen's Restaurant Group venture to launch in The Woodlands area. (Courtesy Killen's Barbecue)
Killen's Barbecue opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Magnolia ISD board members approved additional paid sick leave and a $500 bonus payment to district employees in a Jan. 19 board meeting. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
Magnolia ISD staff to receive $500 COVID-19 bonus, additional paid sick leave

Magnolia ISD employees will receive additional paid sick leave and a one-time $500 bonus due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Montgomery County continues to see new daily highs in active COVID-19 case counts as hospitalizations rise. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County COVID-19 total case count increases to over 34,000; active case count decreases by 1,500

The total COVID-19 case count across Montgomery County has surpassed 34,000.

Zanti offers its take on carbonara pasta. ($16) (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Zanti Cucina Italiana brings authentic Italian taste to The Woodlands area in a casual environment

After taking about 2 1/2 years to select a location and design a concept, Santiago Pelaez opened Zanti Cucina Italiana to bring authentic Italian cuisine to The Woodlands area in June 2019 on Research Forest Drive.