Baylor University Poage Library

Senator Kip Averitt

Senator Kip Averitt was born in the small West Texas town of Crane. The son of a banker and a school teacher, Averitt was raised in numerous cities and towns across Texas. He graduated from Reagan High School in Austin and earned a BBA and MBA in economics and finance from Baylor University in Waco. Averitt, a certified public accountant, is a state and local tax consultant for Ryan & Company.

After serving nine-and-a-half years in the Texas House of Representatives, including two terms as Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Institutions, Averitt was elected to the Texas Senate in April of 2002.

Averitt is Chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Natural Resources. His legislative experience and in-depth understanding of complex issues have repeatedly won the respect and recognition of his Senate colleagues and the legislative leadership. During the past three legislative sessions, Averitt was chosen to fulfill leadership roles on major legislative efforts, including school finance reform and design of the state's $140 billion biennial budget.

During the 80th Session, Averitt crafted and passed Senate Bill 3, a powerful tool in his ongoing efforts to ensure a clean, adequate and affordable supply of water for future generations of Texans. In conjunction with three quarters of a billion dollars in water infrastructure funding that he helped secure through his position on the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Bill 3 advances the development of Texas water policy by protecting instream flows, encouraging conservation of existing water resources, and allowing new water projects identified by the State Water Plan to meet our future water needs. Other Averitt legislation that successfully passed the 80th Legislature includes clean air incentives, restoration of cuts made to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and a constitutional amendment that provides permanent property tax relief for senior and disabled Texans.

In addition to chairing the Senate's Natural Resources Committee, Averitt serves on the Senate's Finance, Business and Commerce, and Education committees, as well as the Subcommittee on Higher Education. Other legislative responsibilities include serving as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of the Sales Tax on Sporting Goods, chairman of the Oilfield Cleanup Fund Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Environmental Flows Advisory Group. Averitt is a member of The Energy Council and the Southern States Energy Board. He is a member and former officer of the Legislature's Rural Caucus.

Averitt's accolades include the Texas Classroom Teacher's Association Legislative Star award, the Association of Texas Professional Educators Freedom to Teach award, the Equity Center Champion for Children award, the Republican Party of Texas Chairman's Award for Courage, the Texas Medical Association's (TEXPAC) Friends of Medicine Award, and an honored spot in the Texas Association of Realtor's Hall of Fame. The National Federation of Independent Business/Texas named Averitt the Senate's Most Valuable Player, and the Texas Farm Bureau named him one of their 12 Stars for Rural Texas. The Texas Association of Business, who called his legislative accomplishments "pro-Texas" and "pro-business," named Averitt a Fighter for Free Enterprise. In 2005, to honor his legislative work on their behalf, the City of Marlin officially named October 19th Kip Averitt Day.

Senator Averitt has four children and lives in Waco.