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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Andy Hill Remembered As Socially Liberal, Friend To Rural Washington

Washington Legislature
The late Sen. Andy Hill on the floor of the Washington state Senate in 2013 with his son Charlie.

Washington state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, is being remembered as a social liberal who was a friend to rural Washington. Hill died last month after a recurrence of cancer. He was memorialized Monday on the Senate floor.

Democratic leader Sharon Nelson said Hill leaves a lasting legacy.

“He was a supporter of marriage equality, he worked to expand Medicaid in our state and he had a dogged pursuit of the Vulnerable Individuals Priority Act which today and in the future will continue to benefit those with disabilities,” Nelson said.

Hill was the Senate’s chief budget writer. Sen. Tim Sheldon from rural Mason County recalled how Hill found money in the budget to help out after the closure of a mill left hundreds out of work.

“Andy quietly put $500,000 in the budget to help the city of Shelton,” Sheldon said. “I thought that was a lot of money, but I sure wasn’t going to argue.”

Hill leaves behind a wife and three children.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."