Senator Kirk Watson: District 14
Education: Baylor University, B.A.; Baylor Law School, J.D.
Legislative Experience: Senate Member, 2007 - present
Kirk Watson is former mayor of Austin and has been described by Texas Monthly Biz magazine as "a man with a vision of what the community wants and the moxie to carry it out."
Watson was elected to the Texas Senate in 2006. He represents most of Travis County and all of Bastrop County in the Texas Senate. Among other recognitions, Texas Monthly magazine named him one of the state's "10 Best Legislators" in 2009. Texas Monthly has recognized him repeatedly, naming him "Rookie of the Year" in his first session (2007) and giving him honorable mentions in both 2011 and 2013. A graduate of Baylor University, Watson received the school's Pro Texana Medal of Service in 2010.
He served as chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus beginning in 2011 and continued in that position through the 2015 legislative session.
His priorities center on education, health care, transportation, budget transparency, and state employees. He serves on the Senate committees overseeing Finance, Business and Commerce, Nominations, and Higher Education as well as the Joint Oversight Committee on Government Facilities and the Sunset Advisory Commission.
From 1991 to 1993, Watson served as Chair of the Texas Air Control Board, the state agency that was charged with addressing air quality in Texas. He was Vice-Chair of the committee that oversaw the consolidation of the Texas Air Control Board with the Texas Water Commission creating the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
He also has served as Chair of both the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Advisory Board of Environmental Defense, and he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas. He has chaired the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the primary transportation planning agency for Central Texas.
As a cancer survivor, Senator Watson is passionate about making sure that all Texans have access to health care. He has been active in numerous health organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and served on the original board of what is now known as the LiveStrong Foundation.
In 2011, Senator Watson laid out 10 Goals in 10 Years to transform the health and economy of Austin and Travis County. Substantial progress has been made on each of the goals, including the creation of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and a new modern teaching and safety-net hospital, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. Building on those successes, Watson is leading a community-based effort to develop a center for world-class brain health treatment, research and education.
Senator Watson graduated from Baylor University and was first in his law school class at Baylor Law School. He has been named an outstanding young alumnus of Baylor, Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year, and the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas. He is currently a partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP. Senator Watson has been married to his wife, Liz, for 37 years. They have two sons, Preston and Cooper.
December 8, 2016
Statement regarding the Sunset Commission's Decisions related to the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
November 7, 2016
Sen. Watson statement on Child Protective Services Workgroup recommendation
October 5, 2016
Retiring Central Health leader worked to revolutionize healthcare for uninsured
September 22, 2016
Watson: Time to create an 'MD Anderson of the Brain' in Austin
July 21, 2016
Austin water conservation gets $167 million boost
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2015 Legislative Session Newsletter
| Capitol Address
| The Honorable Kirk Watson
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
(512) 463-5949 (Fax)
84th Session Committee Membership
District Analysis: District 14