Senator J.B. "Jet" Banks
Majority Leader
District 5

Senator J.B. "Jet" Banks is a native Missourian who graduated from Lincoln University. His B.S. degree was in mathematics, with a minor in physics. His graduate work was in the fields of business and public administration at St. Louis University and Washington University. In 1989, he was awarded both the Doctor of Laws degree from Lincoln University and Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Harris-Stowe State College. He is married to the former Anita Louise Jenkins. The Senator is active in the business world as a mortgage banker, a real estate appraiser, a real estate broker, an insurance underwriter, and the director of several Missouri corporations.

In 1968, Senator Banks was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives and served four terms. He was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 1976. The Senator was the first African-American lawmaker to be elected Assistant Majority Floor Leader by the Democratic Caucus of both the House and the Senate.

In 1988, Senator Banks' colleagues in the Senate recognized his experience and dedication by choosing him as Majority Leader of that chamber. This makes him the first African-American lawmaker ever elected to one of the four top leadership posts in the Missouri General Assembly. Following the 1990 elections, his colleagues chose him, by acclamation, for a second term as Senate Majority leader. Following his third term in this position, he was elected before the 1995 session to an unprecedented fourth term as Majority Leader. In this position, he is in charge of the Senate's daily schedule of business and controls the flow of legislation brought up before the full Senate.

In addition to his busy schedule as a member of the leadership of the General Assembly, Senator Banks serves as chairman of the standing Senate committees on Public Health and Welfare and Rules, Joint Rules and Resolutions. He is currently chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Health Care Policy and Planning and serves on the Senate standing committees on Administration, Gubernatorial Appointments, State Budget Control, and Insurance and Housing. The Senator from the Fifth Senatorial District also was appointed by the Governor to the state's Commission on Lead Poisoning.

Senator Banks was recently appointed to the following national legislative committees: Executive Committee and Management Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference; and the Committee on Health and the Committee on Human Services of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In addition to his leadership in the legislature, Senator Banks continues to be an active participant in other organizations, including the Masonic Home Loan Association, the Motivational and Psychological Research Institute, and the Jordan W. Chambers 19th Ward Regular Democrat Organization, Inc. He is a member, deacon and trustee of the Christ Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church.

The Senator of the Fifth Senatorial District has received more than 100 awards and citations for his many achievements and accomplishments as a legislator. Among his recent honors are: the Distinguished Alumni Award, Lincoln University; Distinguished Service to Education Award, Harris-Stowe State College; Anheuser-Busch/Alpha Phi Alpha Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award; 1990 A. Philip Randolph Institute Award for Outstanding Work in the St. Louis Community; the 1992 President's Political Award from the National Conference of Black Mayors; and 1993 Awards from the Missouri Association of Police Chiefs and the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. He has received several recognition awards by the news media as an outstanding legislator and statesman. In 1993, Senator Banks was the recipient of the Missouri Public Health Association's Robert L. Northcutt award, which is presented annually to an individual or group who has advanced legislation improving the public health of Missourians. He received the 1995 "Champion of Justice" Award from the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.