The First Bright Light Award: State Senator Andy Hill

State Senator Andy Hill

State Senator Andy Hill

Talk is cheap when it comes to improving education in our state, so when you see a leader step up for kids, that should be honored. That’s why we’re awarding the first Smarter Government Washington Bright Lights award to state Senator Andy Hill of Redmond.

You would be hard-pressed to find an elected leader in Olympia who doesn’t say education is their #1 priority. If you look back at the last three decades, however, you’ll see that legislators and governors have invested new state revenues 2:1 in non-education spending.

As the Senate’s budget writer, Sen. Hill made a choice to reverse that trend and truly put education first. Sen. Hill’s budget funneled new tax revenues in education at a 4:1 ratio over non-education spending. The result was a nearly $1 billion more for K-12 schools and the first year without a tuition hike at our universities in a long time. He’s even saving the state money by using employee ideas to cut down on fraud.

Sen. Hill also stepped up a few weeks ago to protect his constituents when a marijuana growing business sought to build a growing facility in Redmond Ridge, a residential area with many young families. Working with area parents and King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Sen. Hill successfully rallied to stop this inappropriately sited project.

Redmond parent Beth Sigall said this about Sen. Hill:

“Senator Hill understands that, at bottom, budgets are about priorities. Thanks to his leadership, we finally have reversed course and put education as a top priority in our state budget, both in terms of spending as well as much-needed policy reforms. As the parent of three school-aged children, I am grateful that Senator Hill is using his position to put education first.”

Sen. Hill, thank you for proving that “putting kids first” can be more than just talk. You are an example of smart governance, and we’re delighted to give you the first Smarter Government Washington Bright Light award.

— Rob McKenna

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.