About The Race
Legislators are paid $42,106 annually, plus healthcare benefits. Senate terms are four years.
- Spokane Valley, WA
- Retired district court judge
A longtime Spokane Valley lawyer who was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1980, Padden served seven terms in the Legislature before being appointed Spokane County District Court judge in 1995. He's married with five grown sons.
OLYMPIA – Medical examiners would be able to discuss the results of autopsies in cases involving police shootings, giving them a chance to clear up what Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich refers to as “misinformation and myths” in some controversial cases, under a bill being considered by the Senate. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, is designed to lift some confidentiality restrictions on autopsy reports when a death occurs in the custody of a law enforcement officer or during police contact.
OLYMPIA – A proposed law requiring parents to be notified of an abortion for any girl under 18 will get a hearing in a Senate committee this year, and possibly a full debate and floor vote. State Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, told a cheering crowd of anti-abortion activists Tuesday that a parental notification bill will get the first Senate hearing in years sometime during the next few weeks.
OLYMPIA – In legalizing marijuana last fall, voters created more questions for the Legislature, not fewer. Some, including how the federal government is going to react, can’t be answered yet, officials from the State Liquor Control Board told a Senate committee Monday.
OLYMPIA – Washington State University uses many tools to combat binge drinking by students, from mandatory information programs to counseling to notifying parents, a school official told a legislative panel Friday. But WSU is still pretty typical for alcohol abuse among young adults. Nationwide, roughly two out of five people in WSU’s key age group of 18 to 25 engage in binge drinking at some point.
Democrats appear likely to hold on to both chambers of the Washington Legislature. Republicans had pushed to recapture the state Senate, where the Democrats currently have five more seats than Republicans. Control of the House has not been as much in dispute because Democrats have a wider margin, with 14 more seats than the GOP, and the party appeared to easily maintain a wide majority there.
A Spokane County Superior Court judge believes she’s being treated unfairly by the county when it comes to cashing out unused vacation time, saying many of her colleagues were allowed to collect tens of thousands of dollars in such compensation while she’s being denied. Superior Court Judge Annette Plese sued the county over $15,800 worth of paid vacation hours she believes she’s due from 2009, when she ended her service as a Spokane County District Court judge and was elected to her current position on the Spokane County Superior Court bench.
Funding for the Salvation Army’s Sally’s House, a safe harbor for children who have been abused or neglected, or whose parents have been jailed, was included in a budget passed early Saturday morning by 22 Senate Republicans and three Democrats, said State Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, a supporter of Sally’s House. That budget replaced a budget proposed by Senate Democrats that also included funding for the house. However, a budget written and passed by House Democrats, as well as Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget, cut all state funding for receiving care centers, including Sally’s House.
OLYMPIA – The Legislature gave final approval this week to a bill that will allow charities like the Union Gospel Mission to distribute used eyeglasses. After several trips back and forth between the two chambers, the House of Representatives gave unanimous approval to HB 2261, which allows charities to provide glasses and hearing aids to poor or uninsured people without worrying about lawsuits.
OLYMPIA – Groups like the Union Gospel Mission could go back to dispensing donated eyeglasses to the poor this summer if legislation to protect charities with such programs comes into a little sharper focus in the Legislature. The House and Senate both passed separate bills Thursday that protect charities by giving them immunity from lawsuits when they distribute free eyeglasses after the recipient is examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
OLYMPIA – With votes to spare, the state Senate passed a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in Washington, sending it to the House of Representatives, where it also has enough votes to pass. The House is expected to take up the measure next week.
OLYMPIA – For two weeks, legislators have heard emotional, sometimes angry testimony against major cuts to state programs and in favor of raising taxes. Monday, it became apparent they will do neither. At least not this month, in the special session called to address the shortfall.