Royce West was first elected to the Texas Senate in November 1992. Since taking office, he has represented the 23rd Senatorial District on behalf of the citizens of Dallas County in the Texas Legislature. During his tenure, Senator West has been named by Texas Monthly as one of the 25 most powerful people in Texas politics, been selected for the magazine’s biennial “Ten Best Legislators in Texas” list, and has twice been named as an “Honorable Mention.” Senator West has also received mention on the Associated Press’ “Movers and Shakers” list, as well as the Texas Insider’s “Best Legislators” list.
Senator West is Vice Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee and is a member of Senate committees on Administration, Education, and Finance. During the 83rd legislative session, the senator served on the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, and the Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Transparency. Senator West also serves on the following national and regional organizations:
- Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC);
- standing committee on Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce of the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL);
- Education Commission of the States;
- Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of the Council of State Governments; and the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council.
Senator West‘s key initiatives include the creation of college admission opportunities for all students, including the establishment of the University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas’ first state-supported, four-year university, a new law school in downtown Dallas, and a Pharmacy school. Financial aid and funding for the TEXAS grants programs have been priorities as well. His legislation created the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center at Prairie View A&M University; increased funding for at-risk youth programs, awarded greater compensation to victims of violent crime, established new standards for child care, enhanced enforcement of protective orders and instituted more efficient uses of criminal justice resources through legislation that created a system of progressive sanctions. He passed legislation that created a kinship care program whereby qualified relatives can receive state support to help raise children who could otherwise become part of the foster care system. The senator also successfully carried a package of bills that addressed the practices of homeowners’ associations. In 2001, Senator West passed legislation that placed in-car video in law enforcement patrol vehicles. This year (2015), he was successful in passing SB158 that establishes statewide policy on the use of body-worn cameras and provides funding to assist law enforcement agencies with the operation of a body camera program.
To promote inclusiveness in the procurement practices of state agencies in working with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs), Senator West created the “Doing Business Texas Style – Spot Bid Contract Fair” and regularly sponsors procurement workshops and seminars.
In addition to his senatorial duties, Senator West is the managing 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.