NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

State Representative Laurie Dolan to retire from the Legislature after three terms

One of the three Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors rep­re­sent­ing the City of Olympia in the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture will be head­ing for the exits at the end of this year. State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Lau­rie Dolan, who cur­rent­ly rep­re­sents the 22nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict in Thurston Coun­ty along­side Sen­a­tor Sam Hunt and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jes­si­ca Bate­man, has decid­ed to retire after three terms in the House.

“It has been such an hon­or and priv­i­lege to serve in the State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” said Dolan in a state­ment sent to NPI.

“I am grate­ful to the peo­ple of the 22nd Dis­trict who gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work on pri­or­i­ties for our com­mu­ni­ties, as well as the future of our state. I’ll deeply miss work­ing with my col­leagues and con­stituents on issues rang­ing from edu­ca­tion improve­ments to help­ing our hard-work­ing State Employ­ees, but this is a good time for me to step aside and spend more time with family.”

Dolan cit­ed her key accom­plish­ments as follows:

  • Work­ing with the Office of the Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion and the League of Women Vot­ers to add civics edu­ca­tion as a manda­to­ry high school grad­u­a­tion requirement.
  • Spon­sor­ing enroll­ment sta­bi­liza­tion leg­is­la­tion dur­ing the Covid cri­sis to keep our school dis­tricts fund­ed at the pre-pan­dem­ic enroll­ment levels.
  • Estab­lish­ing “Region­al School Safe­ty Cen­ters” in each of our nine edu­ca­tion­al ser­vice dis­tricts, staffed by experts to train school staff in rec­og­niz­ing when a stu­dent may be a dan­ger to him­self or oth­ers, and how to help that stu­dent get the inter­ven­tions needed.
  • Set­ting up train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams for School Resource Offi­cers to increase under­stand­ing and skills to work with a diverse stu­dent population.

Dolan is Vice Chair of the House Edu­ca­tion Com­mit­tee and a mem­ber of the House State & Trib­al Rela­tions Gov­ern­ment Com­mit­tee. State Gov­ern­ment Chair Javier Valdez is run­ning for the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate, so that com­mit­tee will look very dif­fer­ent when the 2023 Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture convenes.

Dolan not­ed in her retire­ment announce­ment that she has faced can­cer twice and is a vocal pro­po­nent of improved access to healthcare.

Dolan’s HB 1744 seeks to “estab­lish a new col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ship between UW Med­i­cine and Fred Hutchin­son Can­cer Research Cen­ter to accel­er­ate diag­no­sis, treat­ment and pio­neer­ing of cures for can­cer and oth­er diseases.”

Like for­mer NPI board­mem­ber Gael Tar­leton, who left the House at the end of 2020 and now works for Seat­tle May­or Bruce Har­rell, Dolan says she plans to remain active in Wash­ing­ton State pol­i­tics in oth­er capacities.

“I am thrilled to be able to work on so many issues crit­i­cal to the health and well being of our kids, democ­ra­cy, and state work­ers,” said Dolan.

“Just because I am retir­ing doesn’t mean my work to improve K‑12 Edu­ca­tion or health out­comes will end — I hope it’s just a new chap­ter of service.”

We hope so, too. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dolan on six great years in the Wash­ing­ton State House. Pub­lic ser­vice is a seri­ous com­mit­ment, and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dolan has served her con­stituents and all Wash­ing­to­ni­ans with dis­tinc­tion these past few years. We wish her all the best.

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