Christine is the state senator from the 23rd Legislative District, including the Kitsap County communities of Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Keyport, Silverdale, and East Bremerton.
Since her election to the state House of Representatives in 2007, Christine has become a leading voice on education funding and reform, small businesses, ferries, military-families and veterans, and the environment. Her efforts have yielded tangible results for the 23rd district and Washington State as a whole.
Christine the leading Democrat on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education, and serves Assistant lead on the Senate budgetary committee, Ways & Means. She also serves as the Senate Democratic assistant floor leader. In addition to her regular committees, Christine is on several task forces and select committees, including the Joint Select Task Force on Nuclear Energy, the Education Funding Task Force and the Joint Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs.
In 2015, Christine co-sponsored a bipartisan bill (SB 6130) to address the state’s overreliance on local property tax levies, one of the central issues regarding K-12 funding. She was also the prime sponsor of the most significant K-12 reform passed during the 2014 legislative session (SB 6552), helping ensure Washington’s students will be better prepared for college and career when they graduate from high school.
Also in 2015, Christine passed the Douglas M. Ostling Act (SB 5311), which helps the relationship between law enforcement and those suffering from mental illness by reinstating crisis intervention training for police officers statewide.
In previous sessions she successfully championed legislation to stimulate entrepreneurship (SB 6289), remove duplicative state requirements for business licenses (SB 6098), mandate state agencies to accept electronic document submissions from businesses (SB 6354), and help Kitsap families maintain access to health insurance (SB 6412).
Having served previously on the Senate Transportation Committee, she helped to secure funding to sustain ferry operations and ensure construction of the additional 144-car Olympic Class ferry necessary for the system’s long-term viability.
Providing congestion relief and safety improvements on our region’s smaller state highways has been a priority, and during her first term in the Senate, Christine worked to fund the preliminary design work for improvements along Highway 305 and at the intersection of Hwy 3 and Hwy 304 in Bremerton, as well as safety improvements for bicyclists and local residents at the Hood Canal Bridge. She also helped secure funding for Highway 305 improvements in the 2015 transportation funding package.
Following her earlier work as vice chair of a state task force on military children, Christine sponsored legislation (HB 1075/SB 5248) in 2009 to ease the often-complex school transfer process for military children. In 2009, veterans’ relief opportunities were expanded to current members of the National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves through Christine’s efforts (HB 1049). She also sponsored legislation that makes it easier for military spouses to transfer their work experiences from other states.
In 2012, Christine was selected by her peers to serve on the Joint Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, where she will continue to serve as an advocate for Kitsap County military families and veterans.
As a leading advocate in the Legislature for environmental protection and stewardship, she has helped pass legislation to address oil transportation safety, protections for critical forage fish populations and was named the Washington Conservation Voters’ Legislator of the Year in 2014.
Other environmental accomplishments include:
- Clean-up and protection of Hood Canal and Puget Sound waters.
- In 2011 she led the effort to protect our state waters from catastrophic oil spill risks (HB 1186) and she has been a leading proponent of removing derelict fishing gear from the Sound.
- With the passage of 2012’s HB 2502, Kitsap County will be better positioned to preserve key recreational and commercial forestland between Kingston and the Hood Canal Bridge.
- Secured funding for the clean-up of toxics in Port Gamble Bay and regional drinking water infrastructure projects will be delivered.
Before her election to the House, Christine served two terms on the Bainbridge Island City Council.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington, Christine worked for the Kitsap County Department of Community Development as an open space program coordinator and watershed planner.
She later moved to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where she counseled Northwest businesses and organizations on humanitarian assistance and commercial opportunities overseas. Also for USAID, Christine spent time working out of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, managing environmental and economic development projects.
Christine lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband Leonard, and their two school-aged daughters.