Senator West was installed as State Senator, District 23 (Dallas County), in January 1993 after winning the election for the Senate seat in November 1992. He has represented the 23rd Senatorial District in the 73rd, 74th, 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, 79th and 80th Legislative Sessions. Texas Monthly Magazine recently named Senator West as one of the 25 most powerful people in Texas politics. Over the course of his legislative tenure, the magazine chose him as one of the Ten Best Legislators in Texas and twice named Senator West as an Honorable Mention. The Associated Press named Senator West as one of the key players of the 2005 Legislature in its Movers and Shakers list. On April 17, 2006, Senator West was sworn in by his fellow state senators to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate until January 2007. As President Pro Tempore, Senator West was second in the line of succession to be Governor of Texas, and assumed the top leadership position whenever Governor Rick Perry and Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst were out of the state.Senator West is Chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee and is a member of the Senates Committees on Education, Finance, Health and Human Services, Higher Education and the Joint Select Committee on Operation and Management of the Texas Youth Commission. He also serves on the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) and the standing committee on Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce of the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL). In April 2005, Governor Rick Perry appointed Senator West to the Education Commission of the States.Senator Wests key initiatives over his legislative career have included creating college admission opportunities for all students, establishing in statute the University of North Texas at Dallas and operationally, the University of North Texas-Dallas Campus. His legislation created the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center at Prairie View A&M University, increased funding for at-risk youth programs, imposed a new zero tolerance law for minors who drink and drive, enacted stiffer penalties for adults who sell or provide alcohol to minors, awarded greater compensation to victims of violent crime, addressed the problems of criminal street gang violence, established new standards for child care and enhanced enforcement of protective orders. He has worked to create a fair system of appointing election precinct judges, to establish an electronic marketplace for state vendors and provide financial assistance to grandparents who raise their grandchildren.Senator West has provided leadership in many areas including rewriting the Education Code, Tort Reform, Welfare Reform, and revising the Juvenile Justice Code. In 1997, Senator West was appointed Chairman of the Senate Interim Committee on Gangs and Juvenile Justice by the late Lt. Governor Bob Bullock. This committee studied and made recommendations on ways to address the increasing gang problems in Texas and resulted in the passage of a package of anti-gang violence bills.For fifteen years, Senator West has sponsored the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program. The program has provided college students from Senatorial District 23 with paid employment in their respective fields of study. In 1996, Senator West established a Student Advisory Committee (SAC) to obtain the perspectives of students on legislative issues and to expose them to volunteer opportunities in the community. In 1994, Senator West also created "One Community-One Child," a parental involvement program at Julia C. Frazier Elementary School. The program was designed to increase the performance and attendance of students by eliciting the support of their parents or guardians as volunteers at least twice per semester without loss of pay.To address the procurement practices of many State agencies with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs), Senator West created the Doing Business Texas Style - Spot Bid Contract Fair and regularly sponsors procurement workshops and seminars. Senator West has received numerous awards and honors for his legislative, public service and professional work.In addition to his senatorial duties, Senator West is a partner in the law firm of West & Associates, L.L.P. He is also a caring father to his children and devoted husband to Carol R. West, CPA, as well as an active deacon of Good Street Baptist Church.
Like what you see? Make sure you're getting it all
Employee Benefit News provides the current awareness and insight benefit managers need to select, communicate and manage benefit programs to their employees.