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State Senator, District 17

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    Joan Huffman

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    Lauren LaCount

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    Rita Lucido

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 do you believe is the appropriate balance between public safety concerns and gun ownership? How will you work to achieve it?

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?

What is your position on continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions?

Education Louisiana State University, B.A. 1979 South Texas College of Law, J.D. 1984
Experience Harris Co. District Attorney's Office- Prosecutor 1984-1997 Chief Felony Prosecutor, Special Crimes Gang Prosecutor & Legal Counsel to the Organized Crime Narcotics Task Force
Community Board of Directors, Child Advocates Former Board of Directors, Children's Assessment Center Foundation
Phone (713) 304-7868
Twitter @joanhuffman
Flood control and public safety. Next session, I'll author legislation that will provide a clear notice to potential buyers of property residing in a floodplain that the property is at risk of flooding. I also fully support the creation of a third reservoir and the usage of the Rainy Day Fund to improve flood control. As the Senate’s leader in the fight against human trafficking, I'll continue to author legislation that fully empowers law enforcement and prosecutors to pursue traffickers.
As a former prosecutor and criminal district court judge, I fully understand the serious and real concerns regarding public safety and I have always taken those concerns to heart. I'm a strong supporter of the second amendment and fully understand the concerns of those who don’t want their constitutional rights to be infringed upon. I’ve worked diligently to protect the public for my entire career and as a state senator, I've always fought to protect the constitution as it is my duty to do so.
As a senior member on the Senate Committee on Finance, I will work to secure an across the board pay raise for our teachers. I will also play a pivotal role in the restructuring of our school finance system so that we can empower school districts and schools with the tools they need to give our children a 21st century education, without creating any new taxes. I will also continue to lead the effort to improve teacher retirement and healthcare, so that we can attract the best and brightest.
In 2013, I authored and passed legislation to create the Harris County Mental Health Jail Diversion Program to divert those with a mental illness from cycling through the criminal justice system and instead into community-based care. Since then, I've been able to secure funding for almost 20 other jail diversion programs throughout the state and I'll be working next session to help bolster these efforts. I'll also work to increase funding for mental health care and addiction treatment services.
While this is mainly a federal issue, I do support continued protections and equal access to health insurance and health care for those with pre-existing health conditions.
Education Studied Business Administration
Experience Former Owner of East Texas Living Magazine, Current Owner and Founder of Lucky Dog Company, Former City Council Woman and Mayor Pro Tempore of Richwood, Texas
Community Current Volunteer and Foster for several non-profit animal rescues. Volunteer with local Lion's Club, Parks & Rec, CCPD, VFD, & EDC. Member of Business Organizations.
Phone (979) 248-7741
Twitter @LaurenLaCount
Property Taxes are the primary issue affecting SD17. We are seeing maximum increases annually, even as our infrastructure deteriorates and our neighborhoods flood. As a Council Woman I fought to REDUCE tax rates by cutting wasteful spending while adequately funding essential services. I support the graceful elimination and replacement of Residential Property Taxes. Flooding is my second priority if elected. As a rescuer, volunteer, and flood victim I will continue to work on solutions in SD17.
Private gun ownership and personal responsibility are essential elements to public safety. The second amendment is for personal defense and the protection of every other freedom we have. I respect and appreciate the willingness of Police, Teachers, and others to die protecting my family, but I would never obligate them to that fate by taking away their best defense against a criminal intent on harming us. I would advocate for the rights of everyone to provide personal and public safety.
Our school funding formula and public pension system has been broken for years and I will propose full reform including a new funding formula and new revenue mandates for state budget contributions. Property owners and local districts should not be shouldered with an unfair 60-40 split of school funding, while unfunded mandates from the Federal and State level shortchanged our children. Teachers and staff caring for our children daily should not be penalized for legeslative impotence. Kids 1st.
Repeal legislation obligating costly barriers to voluntary public and private charity and convert existing funding to grants instead of poorly funded government run programs. It should always be legal to feed the hungry, no matter if they starve physically, mentally, or spiritually. Medical freedom including decriminalization of marijuana has been proven to reduce opioid and other overdose deaths and dependancy in other states while funding addiction treatment and public education. Local Control
I support continuing protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies should not be allowed to discriminate against people while benefiting from public subsidies. I do not support obligatory purchase of insurance by individuals, or taxpayer funded universal healthcare. I support medical freedom as a personal choice and personal responsibility, with a government safety net for the most vulnerable Texans. I have no insurance company donors, I will work for Texans if elected
Education BA Trinity University, San Antonio, TX -1979; JD University of Houston Law Center -1982
Experience Legislative Aide to State Representative Debra Danburg -1982-1983; Law Offices of Rita Lucido - 1983-1997; Cothrun & Lucido, Partner -1997 to present
Community Texas Civil Rights Project 2016 to Present, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Board 2003-2013; Houston Area Women's Center Board 1988-1996; Fellow- American Leadership Forum XLII
Twitter @ritalucido
Public Education and Healthcare. I hope to serve on the Education Committee where I will be a vote & a loud voice for a public education budget that brings state revenue funding on par with funds provided by local taxpayers & for revision of our out-of-date public education funding formulas. Also I will work to craft a plan for TX to expand Medicaid coverage for the rising number of uninsured in our state by taking advantage of federal tax dollars that thus far have been rejected.
I believe we can be responsible gun owners, support the 2nd Amendment & use common sense to keep guns away from dangerous people. I believe a background check should be required for every gun sale. I believe permitting laws must be strengthened, not abolished. I support effective, but constitutional “red flag” laws that provide protection against those who obviously should not have access to a gun.
Solving our public school funding crisis is my top priority. The State must contribute to education funding on par with local school districts. With equal funding contributions from the state & the districts the TX legislature can successfully: Uphold the promise in the TX Constitution of a quality, free public education for all TX children; Expand access to high-quality pre-K; & Adjust the public education funding formulas to lessen the impact of “Robin Hood” recapture on local school districts
The state can move to accept federal funds to provide millions of Texans with health care including care for substance abuse and mental health, via Medicaid expansion. Additionally, the legislature should review and update the insurance code and regulatory requirements for mental health and substance addiction treatment. Currently private insurance standards in Texas do not require nor reflect best practices for treatment, especially for substance addiction, given that the last update was 1989.
I oppose any measure, statute, or litigation designed to limit or remove protections for those of us with pre-existing health conditions from insurance coverage.