Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) honored Texas State Representative Jerry Madden (R-Richardson) with its prestigious “Legislator of the Year” award at the organization’s 38th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. “I am pleased to recognize Rep. Madden as a Legislator of the Year, and would like to thank him for his outstanding dedication to our organization,” said ALEC National Chairman, Rep. Noble Ellington.
“Representative Madden is to be commended for his leadership, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such committed individuals like Rep. Madden over the past year.”
The “Legislator of the Year” Award is given to state legislators who are ALEC members in good standing and have distinguished themselves by taking a leadership role in advancing, introducing, and/or enacting policies based on the fundamental Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty.
“I am honored to accept this award which is a testament to the dividends being reaped by Texas in wake of adoption of progressive and cost-effective criminal justice policies over the last four years,” said Madden.
“I am proud of the support from my colleagues in the Texas Legislature and appreciative of the work by the leadership and staff at ALEC which have helped foster and advocate creative and evidence-based programs and practices in the field of corrections,” Madden said.
Representative Jerry Madden has been an ALEC member since first being elected to the Texas House in 1993. He was named Chairman of the House Committee on Corrections in 2005, and since then has testified before Congress and been invited by policy formulating organizations and/or various state legislators to explain reforms in both the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems implemented by Texas in a bi-partisan fashion under his and Senator John Whitmire’s leadership.
Owing to their joint success in changing the Texas tough “lock-em up and throw away the key” approach which didn’t deliver entirely constructive outcomes other than “construction” of more prisons, Whitmire (a Democrat) and Madden (a Republican) were named by Governing magazine as one of eight Public Officials of the Year in 2010. As a consequence of probation and parole changes and investments in substance abuse treatment and similar diversion programs which began in 2007, a state prison will be closed for the first time in Texas history by the end of August.
“As a state representative and committee chairman, Jerry has served his constituents and the state with a pragmatic determination and conservative approach to governing. I am proud to continue to support Jerry’s policy agenda for the state’s corrections program that has become an example for the nation to follow,” said former Speaker of the Texas House and Immediate Past National Chair of ALEC, Rep. Tom Craddick. “
“He has earned the respect of myself and his colleagues with his guided leadership and decision-making abilities that make him an excellent choice for ALEC’s 2011 Legislator of the Year. I am elated that my friend, fellow member and House chairman is being recognized with this prestigious award.”
“Jerry is a dedicated public servant who puts service over politics,” said ALEC Texas State Chair, Rep. Jim Jackson. “I am proud that he is getting this award, as it is well-deserved.”
State Senator Florence Shapiro remarked, “Jerry and I have worked together as a team on many important bills, such as a statewide ban on K2 during the 2011 Legislative Session, creating and implementing the Nurse Family Partnership program in our state, and our development of the Texas Virtual School Network. He is a great partner and friend, and the ALEC award is highly deserved.”
“This formal acknowledgment of his accomplishments is well deserved, and I am very proud of him,” Button said.
ALEC offers state legislators the opportunity to interact with some of America’s most influential public and private sector leaders to discuss critical issues facing the states and nation today. It is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, individual membership association of state legislators with over 2,000 members representing all 50 states, with almost 80 alumni who are either serving presently in the U.S. Congress, or are sitting or former governors.