Early learning investments will be in good hands with Hunter

Following the announcement that Rep. Ross Hunter, the House of Representatives chief budget writer, would be stepping down to become the new director of the state’s Department of Early Learning, Sen. Andy Hill wished his budget-writing counterpart well.

“Having spent countless hours working with Representative Hunter I’m pleased he’ll be leading Washington’s early learning efforts given the important role in our overall education system,” said Hill, of Redmond, who serves as chief budget writer in the Senate. “This session the Legislature made historic investments in early childhood education for the next two years. With Ross’ passion and experience in policy and legislating, I’m confident the new funding and improvements will be in good hands.”

In the 2015-17 state budget the Legislature added $159 million for early learning and care, which included a 1,600 child expansion of the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. New legislation implementing the Early Start Act aimed at improving and investing in high quality programs was also approved during the 2015 session.

“I’d like to thank Ross for his longtime service and dedication, wish him well in his new role and look forward to continue working with him on these important issues that impact all Washington children,” said Hill, whose district shares Kirkland and Redmond with Rep. Hunter.