Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Texas House, District 126

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  • Candidate picture

    E. Sam Harless
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Natali Hurtado
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

Identify what you think are the 2 most important issues that affect the people in your district and give specific examples of measurable actions you will take to address these issues.

What specific criteria do you believe must be met in order to justify spending reserves in the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund)? What requirements should there be to ensure that permanent funding solutions are developed going forward?

What will you do as a member of the Texas Legislature to ensure that all children living in Texas receive a quality education?

How can the state of Texas best partner with local governments and private providers to ensure Texans have access to mental health and addiction treatment services?

Education Sam Houston State University 2 years
Experience I am owner, operator of used auto dealership in Dist. 126. I am on the Harris County Constables Advisory board continuing education of law enforcement for 15 yrs. now.
Community Support Pearl Fincher museum, NW Assistance Ministries, Centrum Arts League, Member of Champions Forest Baptist Church, Lifetime Member of Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
Phone (281) 655-0254
Twitter @SamHarless126
Flooding. We need to fund additional reservoirs. Our existing bayous need to be cleaned out and made deeper and wider where possible. Create more detention and retention ponds. Both Barker and Addicks reservoirs need to be cleaned out and deepened to create more capacity. Property tax relief. Property taxes are too high, pushing people out of their homes. I am happy that Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick have made property tax reform a priority in the next legislative session.
I think the Stabilization Fund should only be spent in emergencies. Hurricane Harvey is a perfect example. We cannot stand by and do nothing while homeowners property is flooded. In Harris County we have had major flooding in the past 3 years. It is time to act.
I believe we need equitable funding for all public schools. The State should pay its fair share to educate our children. Currently, the State only pays about 37% to educate our children, while property owners pay the balance..
I think the State needs to increase mental health funding. If we properly fund mental health care at an early age fewer people with mental health issues would be incarcerated which in turn would save the state money in future budgets.
Education Masters in Public Policy & Administration - University of St. Thomas Double BA Psychology & Political Science - University of Houston
Experience Former intern at City of Houston Former intern in DC for congressman Gene Green Legislative staff for state representative Kristi Thibaut
Community Commissioner for Keep Houston Beautiful Former Aldine YMCA Board Member Former District Director for Boy Scouts of America Former Young Professional for Child Advocates
Phone (281) 826-4157
Twitter @NataliforTexas
Securing funding for flood mitigation projects to help create a third reservoir, conduct buyouts, update existing flood plain maps and updating existing infrastructure.I would work with county and federal officials and be a vocal advocate for projects in district 126. Also prioritizing public education - our students and teachers need to feel like they matter, so we need to make sure they are adequately and equitably funded.
I believe things such as emergency matters - example being relief from natural disasters is a justification to spend from the Rainy Day Fund. I also believe using funding for public education to help school districts secure enough teachers and administrators is critical. In order to ensure permanent funding I strongly believe that Texas should legalize gambling as a revenue source. I also believe closing loopholes that allow big businesses to circumvent their tax contribution is necessary.
I would immerse myself into understanding the school finance system and what is needed to make a system that makes sense. I would work hard in making sure our schools, teachers, and students are being equitably and adequately funded. We need to recognize that our children are our future and require top priority when it comes to funding allocation. We need to be sure our teachers and administrators have the tools necessary to be successful and not be met with unfunded mandates.
Opening access to health care for all will ensure that people are not met with unnecessary burdens when seeking care. Currently our governor has chosen to refuse expanding medicaid which has prevented Texans from receiving federal money. This money should go back to Texans to help them get the preventative care they need. We should be prioritizing Texans health and not playing party politics.