Sen Mike Padden talks about his legacy and his achievements in the Washington legislature

Spokane Valley State Senator Mike Padden has served in Washington politics since first elected to the state House in 1980 where he first served as a citizen legislator for more than 14 years. After taking a few years away to serve as a Spokane County District Court judge, Padden returned to the State Senate in 2011. Now, at the age of 77, Padden has announced he will be stepping down at the end of this term.


Sen Padden spoke to the Spokane REALTORS® Governmental Affairs Committee about his time in the legislature, and the legacy he leaves behind. During his legislative career his many leadership roles have included House Majority Floor Leader and chair of the Law and Justice Committee. But in recent years, he became a strong advocate for housing – sponsoring several key bills related to condominium reform.


“I am proud to have been a part of helping create more housing in Washington, and by working on criminal justice measures to help keep us safe,” said Padden.


Of the many changes he has seen, one that stands out is the ease of which citizens can weigh in and testify remotely. What few people may know is that you can sign up in support of a bill – even if you don’t testify directly. “That can really help when lawmakers are debating a bill to see where there is support,” said Padden.


With his departure, Sen. Padden worries about who will pick up the responsibilities he has carried all these years. Most specifically when it comes to Housing, Crime and Public Health. For him, it’s not about resources, as much as it is maintaining priorities.


“It’s my contention Olympia has never had a revenue problem – it has a spending problem,” said Padden.