Kirk has approached the Texas Legislature with many of the same goals and strategies he pursued throughout his career in public service – building new coalitions, working with all sides, and preparing for Texas’ future.
He served as chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus beginning in 2011 and continued in that position through the 2015 legislative session.
After five legislative sessions, Kirk has been widely recognized for his idealism as well as his effectiveness. Texas Monthly magazine recognized him as one of Texas’ 10 Best Legislators in 2009. It also named him Legislative Rookie of the Year in 2007 and gave him an Honorable Mention in its coverage of best legislators in 2011 and 2013.
Kirk’s top legislative priority has been working to ensure that Texas offers as much opportunity to our children as it did to Kirk. This includes great public schools and ready access to healthcare.
He also continues to fight for his “Honesty Agenda,” which was aimed at shining a light on the state budget and debt, diversions and deception used to balance the budget. He has made some great progress toward a more honest budget, such as requiring more regular reporting from the Texas Comptroller.
In 2012, he led the charge to build a medical school at UT and revolutionize health care in Travis County. Those efforts ultimately resulted in Proposition 1, which passed with almost 55 percent of the vote. That investment is already producing dividends, such as the collaboration between the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Dell Medical School to create patient-centered cancer institutes.
He also remains very involved in issues across Central Texas, including transportation and water planning. And he helped launch and serves on the board of a community bank in Bastrop County.