6:00pm until 7:30pm
Florence Shapiro was elected to the Texas Senate in 1993. But her journey into Texas politics began years prior and miles away from the Texas Capitol. As a former public school teacher, she first entered elected office as a Plano City Council member. Following six terms on the council, she was elected Mayor of Plano. During this time, she also served as President of the Texas Municipal League and the North Texas Council of Governments.
Senator Shapiro's issues while serving in the Senate have been many. As a champion of children, she passed landmark legislation to protect against sexual predators. Her series of bills known as Ashley's Laws, protects against, adjudicates, and punishes sex offenders whose victims are children. These laws, which began in 1995, were national benchmarks, and Senator Shapiro continues to dedicate herself to improving the safety and security of our children.
In 1999, Senator Shapiro became chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee and committed herself to the issue of transportation, creating the first fund for Texas mobility.
In 2003, she became chair of the Senate Education Committee, where she recently passed legislation to overhaul the state's school finance system. Her landmark House Bill 1 significantly lowers property taxes, provides more money for schools, along with a teacher pay raise and the first ever incentive pay program, educational reforms at the high school level to promote college readiness and curb dropouts, and better accountability for schools.
Today, she serves as Co-Chair of the Education Policy Taskforce for the National Council of State Governments, as well as on the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Education Commission on the States, coalitions of elected officials and education leaders that addresses issues such as long-range planning, policy proposals and the advancement of education among the states. She is also an appointee to the Governor's Criminal Justice Advisory Council, as well as a member of the Standing Committee on Education for the National Conference of State Legislators.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Shapiro holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education. In addition to chairing the Senate Education Committee, she currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance, as well as the Transportation and Homeland and Security Committee and Senate Administration Committee.
Shapiro is a former small business owner. She and her husband Howard live in Plano. They have three children: Lisa and her husband, Brian Strauss of Houston, with grandchildren Joshua, Noa and Ari; Todd and his wife, Jori Shapiro, with grandchildren Ella and Zachary; and Staci and her husband Paul Rubin, with grandchildren Sam and Natalie, all of Frisco.