Senator Joan Huffman started her career as a public servant in 1981. Upon earning her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, she became a secretary for the Harris County District Attorney’s office. It was there that she became inspired by the work of prosecutors and began to take night classes at South Texas College of Law while working full time.
Upon earning her law degree, Senator Huffman was hired as a prosecutor and advanced from misdemeanor court to Chief Felony Prosecutor, Special Crimes Gang Prosecutor, and Legal Counsel to the Organized Crime Narcotics Task Force. She served as lead prosecutor in over 100 jury trials, including murders, sexual assaults, aggravated robberies, and sexual assaults of children. She later was twice elected as Judge of the 183rd Criminal District Court in Harris County.
Senator Huffman was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2008. Her background and knowledge on various topics has allowed for her to serve on several key committees which impact the overall operation and efficiency of state government. She currently serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on State Affairs, a committee that oversees complex state issues including pensions, elections, the judiciary, civil and family law, private property rights, and constitutional issues. As the Senate’s leader on these issues, she has championed many reforms including sponsoring legislation that saved the City of Houston from bankruptcy by reforming its failing pension system.
Additionally, Senator Huffman serves as the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Legislative Budget Board. Senator Huffman’s common-sense approach to solving issues has allowed for her to build strong relationships with members of both parties, which enables her to represent the needs of her district and her constituents efficiently and effectively. Her leadership has been acknowledged by numerous advocacy groups. She was named as the “2017 Hero for Texas Children” by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and a “Big Voice for Little Texans” by the Court Appointed Special Advocates for her work to protect children. She is the only three-time recipient of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s “Law and Order Award” since its inception for her efforts to improve victims’ protections and the criminal justice system. She is widely recognized as the Senate’s leader in the fight against human trafficking and was named a “2018 Houston Hero” by Crime Stoppers of Houston in recognition of her dedication to public safety.
Senator Huffman lives with her family in Houston and proudly represents a diverse district which includes portions of Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Harris counties.
Senator Joan Huffman, SD-17
Awards & Honors
Texas Secretary of the Senate- 100% Attendance Record (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Texas District & County Attorney Association- Law & Order Award, (Only 3x recipient, 2011, 2013, 2017)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Texas Branch- Texas Hero for Children Award (2017)
Texas Faith and Family Values- Faith & Family Champion (2017) Texas Right to Life- 100% Pro Life Rating (2012, 2017)
Harris County Medical Society- Patient Care Champion (5x, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Texas Humane Legislative Network- Legislative Award (2017)
Texas Game Warden and Peace Officers Association- Legislative Award (2017)
Meadows Mental Health Institute- Legislative Champion (2017)
Mothers Against Drunk Driving- Legislator of the Year (2015) Children At Risk- Accolade Award (2015)
American's For Prosperity- Lone Star Strong (2015)
Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians- Community Service Award (2014)
Children's Assessment Center- Spring Gala Event Honoree (2014)
Cancer Action Network- Advocacy in Action Award (2014)
Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas- Best of the Senate (2009, 2011, 2013)
Texas Municipal Police Association- Guardian of the Year (2013)
Texas Medical Association TEXPAC- Patient Protection Award (2011, 2013)
Career Colleges & Schools of Texas- Legislative Champion Award (2013)
Texas Conservative Coalition- Courageous Conservative (2013)
Texas Conservative Roundtable- Lone Star Conservative Leader Award (2013)
Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates- Big Voice for Little Voices Award (2011)
Texas Medical Association- Friend of Medicine Award (2011)
Texans for Lawsuit Reform- Civil Justice Award (2009, 2011)
Texans For Fiscal Responsibility- Taxpayer Champion (2011)
Texas Association of Realtors- Honor Roll (2011)
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault- Champion of Social Change (2011)
Texas Coalition of Homes for Children- Champion for Children (2011)
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists- Texas Woman's Health Champion (2011)
Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas- Free Enterprise Champion (2009)
The Academic Languages Therapy Association- Champion for Children with Dyslexia (2009)
Legislative Leadership Award- Texas Chemical Council (2009)
Children At Risk- Legislator of the Year (2009)
Texas Association of Business- Fighter for Free Enterprise (2009), Champion for Free Enterprise (2013)
Houston Police Officers Union Local 2- Criminal District Judge of the Year (2000)
P.O.L.I.C.E. Inc.- Judge of the Year (2000)