+ − Upcoming Hearings (2)
April 21, 2021 at 8:30am CDT
Committee:Health and Human Services
+ − Contact Information
Phone: (512) 463-0114
Fax: (512) 463-5949
P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
+ − Biography
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 in each session he's served, 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 is chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus.
Watson's priorities center on education and higher education, health care, economic development, 21st Century energy generation, environmental protection, transportation, budget transparency, and state employees. He serves on the Senate committees overseeing Business and Commerce, Economic Development, Nominations, and Transportation and he is Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education.
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 — particularly children — 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.
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 more than 35 years. They have two sons, Preston and Cooper.