Missouri State Senate
Biography for Senator Bray

Senator Joan Bray was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2002 after having served 10 years in the Missouri House of Representatives. She represents the 24th Senate District, which includes more than 20 municipalities and unincorporated areas in St. Louis County.

As the ranking Democratic member of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Bray works with her Senate colleagues to comb through the state's more than $24 billion budget. She also serves on several other Senate standing committees: Ways and Means; Transportation; Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics; and Commerce, Energy and the Environment. Her joint Senate-House committees include Administrative Rules, Transportation Oversight, and Tax Policy. She is also a Senate appointee to the Missouri HealthNet Advisory Commission.

Senator Bray has sponsored numerous bills concerning privacy rights, health care reform and campaign finance reform. She is also a strong defender against legislation attacking public education, consumers and human rights.

In her years in the Senate, Sen. Bray has advanced legislation to criminalize human trafficking in Missouri and to regulate the mail order bride industry. She has also sponsored landmark measures to help poor, neglected and abandoned communities across the state by providing tax incentives for investments in economically distressed areas. Senator Bray was a key supporter of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, a highly successful program for revitalizing older communities. Other bills Sen. Bray advanced through the General Assembly included measures that established Scenic Byways in Missouri, overhauled the state's purchasing laws and provided assistance to financially distressed school districts.

Senator Bray is an active member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She served for three years on the organization's Executive Committee and chaired the Transportation Committee and the Rail Working Group. She is also a member of NCSL's Task Force on State and Local Taxation of Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce. Along with her involvement with NCSL, Sen. Bray is a Missouri delegate to the Streamlined Sales Tax Implementing States.

As an avid public transportation and passenger rail passenger, Sen. Bray has been an active supporter in efforts to improve the rail system. She is a member and former chair of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission. She served two terms as a member of the board of Citizens for Modern Transit in St. Louis. And in her leadership roles on state transportation issues, Sen. Bray has testified before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives on the importance of these transportation issues in Missouri as well as in our nation.

Senator Bray is involved with the Center for Women Policy Studies as a graduate of its Foreign Policy Institute. She has also attended the center's seminar on The UN, Women, Peace and Security as well as the center's National Strategic Action Convening on Reproductive Rights. Senator Bray is also a founder and member of the board of the Consumers Council of Missouri. She also serves on the Workers' Rights Board of the St. Louis Area Jobs with Justice.

Senator Bray is a graduate of the Women and Power Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. A recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, Sen. Bray has also earned a Master of Education Degree in Counseling and Human Relations and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Senator Bray lives in University City with her husband, Carl Hoagland. They have two grown sons, Noel and Kolby.

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