Retiring after serving 12 years in the Senate

Padden pro-business bill passed in 2023 leads to U.S. Capitol visit

Dear friends and neighbors,

It has been a real honor and privilege to serve the citizens of the 4th District in the state Senate since 2011. After much thought and discussion with my wife, Laura, the time has come for me to retire from the Washington State Senate.  

I have appreciated the opportunity to work with my legislative colleagues on a variety of issues over these years to make Washington better. I will miss my relationships with each one of them.     

While I have focused on many issues, public safety has been especially important to me. As either ranking member or chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, I have had input on public safety legislation. Unfortunately, there has been a sharp increase in crime in recent years, including auto thefts and burglaries. It is disappointing that House Democrats did not follow the Senate’s lead on passing my habitual property-offender bill (SB 5056,) and Senator Lynda Wilson’s opioid reckless-endangerment bill (SB 5010). Washington has far to go in terms of improving public safety. 

Senator Padden delivers a speech on the Senate floor during this year’s session.

Laura and I look forward to traveling and spending more time with our five sons and four grandchildren. 

In the meantime, I plan to stay busy in my role as your state senator by attending meetings and events in and near our district. One of them is a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of the Barker Road corridor projects north of the Spokane River. It’s at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 25.  

You can read the news release about my retirement announcement. 

It was humbling to read so many local news stories about my retirement decision. They include these stories by the Spokesman-Review , KPBX Radio, KHQ-TV, KREM-TV, KXLY-TV and the Spokane Valley News Herald. There is also an interview with KONA Radio, based in the Tri-Cities. Next Sunday I will do a taped interview with the Right Spokane Perspective Radio program to talk about a recap of this year’s legislative session.  

If you have questions about how to participate in state government this year or thoughts to share on anything in this e-newsletter, please give me a call or send me an email. 

Thank you, as always, for the honor of representing you in Olympia!

Best Regards,

Senator Mike Padden

Attending meeting at U.S. Capitol about ‘ESOPs’ 

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Nearly two weeks ago, I flew to Washington, D.C., to attend a panel discussion at the U.S. Capitol Building about employee stock ownership plans – better known as ESOPs.  

The Aspen Institute and Rutgers University (located in New Jersey) helped organize the conference. Joey Nestegard, CFO with Schweitzer Engineering of Pullman also was part another panel talk on ESOPs. Representative Larry Bucshon, MD of Indiana as well as Maryland U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen spoke at the conference. Many private investors took part as well. 

Last year, the Legislature unanimously approved Senate Bill 5096, a bipartisan measure I introduced that aids businesses looking to adopt an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) corporate structure. The governor signed SB 5096 last year. 

Senate Bill 5096 promotes employee ownership, which is a very valuable thing – not only for our employees but for society. Studies have shown that employee owners are happier, stay in their jobs longer and retire in a much better financial position. Plus, employee-owned companies are more likely to stay located locally. This bill also helps those businesses looking to adopt an ESOP. Many current business owners do not have a plan for when they transition out of the business, and employee ownership provides a valuable option. 

4th District students among those receiving scholarships at banquet

The 32nd annual Spokane Scholars Banquet, hosted by the Spokane Scholars Foundation, was held at the Spokane Convention Center last night. The event honored 168 high academically achieving seniors from 30 schools around the Spokane area, including several in the 4th District. During the banquet, the foundation awarded 24 of the students with scholarships between $1,000 and $4,000. It is special that 4th District students, as well as other area students, were honored for their hard work and strong academic achievements. You can read more about the banquet here.

Meeting on traffic-safety concerns in Newman Lake

Tomorrow I will attend a virtual meeting, hosted by the state Traffic Safety Commission, to discuss traffic-safety concerns in Newman Lake. 

Last year, a road-safety audit was commissioned by the Eastern Washington region of the state Department of Transportation in response to traffic concerns for the Trent/State Route 290 corridor from N. Harvard Road to N. Idaho Road. WSDOT shared the findings of that RSA with Newman Lake residents a few months ago. Since then, the department has identified striping, lighting and signage projects for this year based on the audit findings.  

The purpose of today’s meeting is to discuss the behavioral traffic-safety concerns from the Newman Lake community for Trent/SR-290 and to see how the Traffic Safety Commission may be able to help address these concerns.  

New government guide still available

As mentioned in my e-newsletter a few weeks ago, there is a new 4th District Government Guide for districts residents to use. It includes names and contact information for officials at the federal, statewide, legislative and local government levels. It also provides other helpful information. If you would like to have a copy of the new government guide mailed to you, please call my legislative assistant, Annalise Hemingway, at 509-921-2460 or email her at

Copies of the updated government guide will be available soon at these locations:

  • Millwood City Hall (9103 E Frederick Ave., Spokane)
  • Argonne Library (4322 N Argonne Road, Spokane)
  • Spokane Valley City Hall (10210 E Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley)
  • Spokane Valley Library (22 N. Herald Road, Spokane Valley)
  • Liberty Lake City Hall (22710 E Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake)
  • Liberty Lake Library (23123 E Mission Ave., Liberty Lake)
  • Otis Orchards Library (22324 E Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards)
  • Spokane Valley Senior Center (2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley)

Contact us!

If you have a question or concern about state government, please do not hesitate to contact our office. During the interim we are conducting business from our district office in Spokane Valley. We are here to serve you!

Phone: 509-921-2460

Email address:

PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Padden’s Olympia office at (360) 786-7606.

To request public records from Sen. Padden, please contact Randi Stratton, the designated public records officer for the Secretary of the Senate and Senate members.