Sen. Walsh introduces page scholarship bill, tribute to Gina Grant Bull

Page Supervisor: Gina Grant Bull on the House floor.

OLYMPIA – Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, is paying tribute to the late Gina Grant Bull with a bill creating a legislative page scholarship program in her name.

Bull was the daughter of the late Bill Grant, the Walla Walla wheat grower who represented the 16th Legislative District from 1986 to 2009. Bull passed away suddenly in October at age 57 while she served as page supervisor in the state House of Representatives.

“Gina was passionate about seeing students succeed and build relationships while participating in the page program,” Walsh said. “She fostered an environment that made students all across the state feel like they were a part of the legislative family, and consistently reminded each page of his or her valuable contribution to the Legislature. The loss of Gina’s presence is deeply felt within the Olympia and Walla Walla communities, and I could not imagine a better way to remember her kind and caring spirit.”

Senate Bill 5346 creates the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Scholarship Program, to provide financial assistance to Washington students who participate in the Legislature’s page programs. The bill would establish accounts within the House and Senate to receive contributions and distribute funds to students in need.

As page supervisor, Bull noted that many students are unable to participate because of lack of financial resources for temporary housing, uniforms and other needs. Bull frequently spoke of the need to create a scholarship program, to provide opportunity for all who wish to apply.

The program, open to students age 14 to 16, gives students an opportunity to work at the Capitol for a week when the Legislature is in session. More than 500 students are expected to participate this year in the House and Senate programs. Washington is one of just a handful of states that offer legislative page programs.

“Gina was so deserving of this. She was the epitome of a great state employee and a dear friend of all,” Walsh said.

Information about the House and Senate page programs can be found online at http://leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx and  http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Administration/PageProgram/Pages/default.aspx.