Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst is a member of the Texas House of Representatives, serving House District 13, which includes Austin, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Lavaca and Washington Counties, and consists of thousands of square miles of rural Texas from the Brazos Valley to the Coastal Plains.
As Chair of the House Committee on Public Health, she oversees the state's health care system and sets priorities for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She is also a member of the House Committee on County Affairs, where she helps solve challenges facing the state's 254 counties, and works closely with the seven rural counties in her district.
Kolkhorst spent six years on the House Appropriations Committee, managing and directing funds for public schools, community colleges, universities, and medical schools. As an advocate for education, she has been honored by both the Texas Retired Teacher Association as well as the College of Education at Sam Houston State University for her support of teacher and classroom issues.
She has written and passed bills that tackle a variety of issues, from healthcare, criminal justice and prison reforms, to education and agriculture policies, consumer rights, economic development, foster children and domestic violence legislation. Her landmark legislation to improve consumer transparency at colleges and universities was featured in The Wall Street Journal and on the Fox News Channel.
A successful business owner, she's been awarded for her work from the National Federation of Independent Business and the Texas Association of Business. As a champion for state sovereignty and constitutional issues, she's received the Freedom & Family Award from Texas Eagle Forum.
In 2013, she teamed up with Texas CASA to reform the state's foster care system, and that same year worked with the March of Dimes to create statewide standards for neonatal intensive care for premature babies. She has received national attention for efforts to pass an inter-state healthcare compact, so that more public health policies can be controlled by the states, instead of by unelected federal bureaucracies.
As an avid hunter, Kolkhorst has received the repeated endorsement of groups like the Texas State Rifle Association, the Texas Wildlife Association, and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. In 2009, she pushed through a restructuring of the Texas Department of Public Safety with bipartisan support, and is known for passing legislation to directly address the costs incurred by illegal immigration.
A staunch supporter of property rights, Kolkhorst joined forces with grassroots groups and gained national attention in 2005 for questioning the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor system of privatized toll roads. As a public servant who emphasizes faith and family, she's received the Friend of Children Award from The United Way, as well as the endorsement of pro-life groups like Texas Alliance for Life.
The Texas Farm Bureau has repeatedly recognized her for her support of agriculture issues and the Texas Travel Industry Association has awarded Kolkhorst for her statewide work in promoting Texas tourism.
Prior to public service, she served as CEO for the Washington County Chamber and the Economic Development Foundation of Brenham. A native of Brenham, she is a graduate of Texas Christian University, where she was an accomplished golfer who played for the TCU Lady Frogs Golf Team, as well as being named to the Academic All-Southwest Conference Team. She enjoys the outdoors with her husband, Jim Kolkhorst and their two children, Lois Kate and Jake. The family lives in Brenham, while they own and operate Kolkhorst Petroleum, based in the nearby city of Navasota.
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