OLYMPIA – Both chambers of the Washington Legislature Wednesday passed resolutions honoring Gina Grant Bull, the Walla Walla native who rose to become page supervisor for the state House of Representatives.
Bull, who died in October at age 57, was recalled as a core member of the legislative family after a career spent at the Legislature. In remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, said Bull’s death was “a terrible loss to her family and friends, and frankly to this legislative body.” Walsh is sponsoring a bill this year to create a legislative page scholarship program in Bull’s name.
“Gina loved working with the kids who paged during the legislative session,” Walsh said. “A scholarship in her name is so deserved and a great tribute to her efforts to see that all kids get a chance to participate in the page program.”
Bull was the daughter of the late Bill Grant, the Walla Walla Democrat who represented the 16th District in the state House of Representatives from 1986 to 2009. Bull served in the Legislature as a legislative assistant for former Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, and Rep. Chris Strow, R-Freeland, prior to her service as the Page Program supervisor.
Senate Resolution 8623 recognizes the impact Bull had on the young lives she touched as page supervisor, observing that she knew the name of every page on the Capitol campus and that she had strong connections with many. It says Bull “gave herself wholeheartedly to mentorship and achieved impressive results, yet she maintained a humble attitude towards it all, brushing off her work as ordinary.”
The resolution notes that upon landing her “dream job” as page supervisor for the 2016 session, Bull “formulated a detailed plan to strengthen the page program, her goal being to empower students from all walks of life to realize that the citizen Legislature is their Legislature, no matter their economic background.”
A similar measure, House Resolution 4616, also passed the House Wednesday.
The scholarship program Bull advocated for is embodied in Senate Bill 5346, sponsored by Walsh, which creates the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Scholarship Program. The program would provide financial assistance to Washington students who participate in the Legislature’s page programs, for temporary housing, uniforms and other needs. Accounts would be established within the House and Senate to receive contributions and distribute funds to students in need.
The House and Senate page programs give students from 14 to 16 years old a chance to spend a week working in the Legislature. 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.