In his first Legislative Session, Bettencourt wasted no time in bringing about conservative solutions to Texas’ challenges. His work recently earned him the distinction of “Most Valuable Freshman” by Capitol Inside. Bettencourt served as the chief Senate sponsor on 25 bills that the Legislature approved this year – three times the combined number that the chamber’s other three true freshmen passed in their legislative debuts. This legislation included the passage of the Andrea Sloan “Right to Try” bill, as well as an amendment to SB 1760 that requires a supermajority within a taxing jurisdiction to increase property taxes. Additionally, Bettencourt passed SB 1004, which allows students in Harris County to take dual credit courses from any of the four community colleges inside Harris County, and removes the three course limit that was in place. This has resulted in a 14% increase in student dual credit enrollment from the Spring 2015 to Spring 2016 semester in Harris County. For a full list of legislation Bettencourt was involved in during the session, please click here.
In the 85th Legislative Session, Senator Bettencourt passed the Senate Bill 7, a top priority of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, to stop the explosion of inappropriate student-teacher relationships. Additionally, Senator Bettencourt was the Senate Sponsor of House Bill 810, by Representative Parker, to allow for adult stem cell therapies in Texas. Finally, he worked with Senator Menendez to establish ISD and Charter School partnerships in Texas along the lines of KIPP and YES Charter schools which are working in SBISD at Landrum Middle School and Northbrook High School. Senator Bettencourt is awaiting the start of the special session to refile his bill, SB 2, the Texas Property Tax Reform & Relief Act of 2017. It previously passed the Senate in March by a vote of 18-12, and then again in May by a 20-11 margin. Speaker Straus would not allow a floor vote in the Texas House on SB 2, nor would he appoint a conference committee of House members to negotiate so we must try again in a special session.
Senate District 7 is one of the most dominant Republican districts in the State of Texas. This Republican voting strength of District 7 was on full display, with voters in the district accounting for 34% of the total Republican turnout countywide in 2014, and voting by almost a 10 to 1 margin in the 2014 Republican Primary as compared to the Democrat Primary.
Senate District 7 is located in Harris County and includes Bunker Hill Village, Hedwig Village, parts of Houston, Hunters Creek Village, Jersey Village, Piney Point Village, Spring, and Tomball.
For more information about Paul Bettencourt, please click here to read his full biography.