State of Arizona
Second Regular Session
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 1023
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
on the death of the Honorable William A. "Tony" West, Jr.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
The Honorable William A. "Tony" West, Jr. passed away on January 14, 2016 at the age of seventy-eight.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona on October 29, 1937, Tony lived in Phoenix nearly all his life. Both his father, William A. West, Sr., and his grandfather, T.J. West, were pioneers in the cotton industry in Arizona and California. After graduating from St. Mary's High School, Tony attended the University of Arizona and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in business. On graduation, he began his career in agribusiness through his family-owned operation.
In 1968, Tony made the decision to sell the family business and dedicate his life to public service. He was elected to five terms in the Arizona House of Representatives and three terms in the Arizona Senate. During his sixteen years in the Legislature, he served in numerous leadership capacities, including chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee in the House, the Insurance, Retirement and Aging Committee in the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means in the House. Additionally, he served ten years on the Appropriations Committees and was a member of the Joint Oversight Committee on Organized Crime. He later continued his tradition of public service as Arizona State Treasurer, in which capacity he served for eight years. His vision and actions were instrumental in the development and passage of Proposition 102 in 1998, which amended the Constitution of Arizona to expand the investment eligibility in the State Permanent Land Trust Fund to include equity securities. This action has proven quite fortuitous for future Arizona generations, driving the fund balance from $475 million when he began his tenure to over $5.2 billion at recent highs. Later, he went on to serve as Arizona Corporation Commissioner. In 1992, Tony was recognized for his exemplary service as a state official when he was selected as a Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments.
Tony was well-known for his tough anticrime bills and fiscal conservatism during his tenure in the Arizona Legislature, but his legislative career also reflects his social conscience. Among his many accomplishments, he championed legislation that established programs for the hearing‑impaired, allowed for the establishment of county sports authorities, provided for the funding of crime victim compensation and required increased and mandatory sentences for criminals convicted of using minors in the sale of drugs.
Despite the demands of his work, Tony gave selflessly of his time, energy and abilities to various professional, civic and educational organizations. He served as president of the Western State Treasurers Association, vice president of the National Association of State Treasurers, founder and director of the Arizona Coalition for Tomorrow, director and president of the Arizona Economic Forum, director and president of Arizona Senior Olympics, director and treasurer of St. Joseph's Foundation (Mercy Healthcare Arizona), trustee of Western States Chiropractic College, trustee and president of the Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped and trustee and member of the Junior Achievement Foundation. His professional affiliations also included membership in the Justice Fellowship Task Force, the Governor's Prayer Breakfast Committee, the Kenilworth School Foundation, the Arizona Academy and the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System--Fund Manager. Tony also served in the Arizona National Guard, where he attained the rank of captain and commanded an infantry company.
Tony distinguished himself in the Catholic Church through a lifetime of service. He was a dedicated deacon, serving the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix for many years. Tony once said, "It is a privilege to serve my Lord and Church as a deacon and I look at my life of public service as a ministry to better the community."
Dedicated to his family, Tony will be greatly missed by his beloved wife of 54 years, Margaret "Maggie" West, his three sons, William, John and Stephen, and his five grandchildren.
Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring:
1. That the Members of the Legislature express sincere regret at the passing of the Honorable William A. "Tony" West, Jr. and extend their deepest sympathies to his family and many friends.
2. That the Members of the Legislature extend posthumous recognition and honor to the Honorable William A. "Tony" West, Jr. for his many years of selfless service and dedication to the betterment of Arizona.
UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED BY THE HOUSE APRIL 19, 2016.
UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED BY THE SENATE APRIL 19, 2016.
FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE APRIL 21, 2016.