Sen. Lisa Brown

Senator Lisa Brown  is the state Senate Majority Leader and an Associate Professor in the Master's of Organizational Leadership program at Gonzaga University.

Lisa was born and raised in Robinson, Illinois. She studied economics at the University of Illinois, in Champaign-Urbana and at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, where she received a Ph.D. She moved to Spokane in the 1980’s. As an Associate Professor of Economics at Eastern Washington University, Lisa became involved in public policy advocacy for working families. Her early activities included lobbying the Legislature for dental benefits for low-income people, as part of the “Molar Majority” and organizing the first “Take Back the Night” march in Spokane to bring awareness to victims of domestic violence.

At the request of friends and colleagues, she decided to run for a seat in the state House of Representatives in 1992, and her election helped make that year the “Year of the Woman”, when Washington State led the country in the percentage of public offices held by women.

In her first year in Olympia, Lisa accidentally ignited a state-wide controversy when she brought her infant son onto the floor of the House of Representatives during late-night floor debate – an experience which served to solidify her commitment to family-friendly workplace policies and resulted in the annual event in which legislators bring children and grandchildren on the House floor. Lucas, a product of Spokane Public Schools, is now applying to college.

After serving two terms in the House, Lisa was elected to the Senate in 1996, where she was quickly appointed to serve as chair of the Ways and Means Committee in her first term.  In 2002, she was elected minority leader.  In 2005, she became the first Democratic woman in state history to hold the position of Senate Majority Leader. 

Lisa has been a passionate advocate for Spokane, especially in health sciences education and research, gaining state support for medical and dental education and advanced degree programs in nursing and physical therapy.  She has gained support for bike trails, the North Spokane Corridor, The Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute, and human services and community facilities throughout the region, including the Fox Theater, the Mobius Science Center, the renovated YMCAs and YWCAs, the Northwest Autism Center, and Crosswalk.

Lisa is committed to putting more economic development tools in the Washington toolbox. She was the prime sponsor of the Rainy Day fund constitutional amendment, the Life Sciences Development Fund, the Strategic Economic Development Fund, and the Local Increment Financing Tool.

During Lisa’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader, legislative logjams lasting for decades have been broken, resulting in the passage of several pieces of landmark legislation, including the simple majority for schools constitutional amendment, mental health parity, and prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation. She has received numerous honors and awards, and is serving her fourth term in the Senate.

It's not enough to be right

The Official Blog of the
Senate Majority Leader

My letter to Attorney General McKenna 3/23/2010

As you may have seen in the news today, Attorney General McKenna has decided to challenge the health insurance reform bill signed in to law this morning.

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Special session: no per diem? 3/10/2010

As the possibility of a special session becomes more and more likely, a curious bill with a number of Republican sponsors was introduced in the Senate today.

Senate Bill 6883 would require all legislators to forgo their “per diem” expenses for the entirety of any special session.

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Senate Budget Press Conf. - 2/23

Feb. 3 Media Availability

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Feb. 3 Media Availability 2/3/2010

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A budget to protect Washington’s economic future, quality of life 2/23/2010

OLYMPIA - Stating that in tough economic times, demand for public services like child care, public schools, state financial aid, health care, emergency assistance, and job training increase just as the revenue to pay for them decreases, Senate Democrats today offered a 2010 supplemental budget that they say will protect Washington’s economic future and quality of life.

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The Senate Democratic Caucus is comprised of 31 Democratic Senators from Washington State.

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