Hayes introduces bill that would create the ‘Gina Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Program’

When word spread in October of the sudden passing of Gina Grant Bull, there was a collective gasp of shock from the southeast corner of Washington where she grew up in Walla Walla, to the northwest corner of the state in Oak Harbor where she lived and was an active community leader, and throughout the halls of the Legislature in Olympia where Bull served for many years in various staffing positions.

The 57-year-old daughter of the late Rep. Bill Grant, D-Walla Walla, had been healthy, active, and enjoying her latest role in her “dream job” as page director for the Washington House of Representatives, supporting dozens of youth who worked at the state Capitol during session. On Oct. 12, Bull suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and did not recover.

“I think we were all just stunned to lose this woman at such a young age, who was not only a dedicated public servant, but a friend to Republicans and Democrats alike. Gina could win you over with her vivacious personality, her enthusiasm, her infectious laugh, and her kind heart,” said Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island. “Even Governor Inslee honored Gina during a moment of silence Wednesday when he gave his Inaugural Address to a joint session of the Legislature.”

In her memory, Hayes has introduced House Bill 1194 that would create the Gina Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Program.

“This is an idea that came from Gina herself — a scholarship program that would help provide housing assistance funds for qualified young people who would like to serve as pages in the Legislature, but cannot afford the fee,” said Hayes.

During the legislative session, young people between the ages of 14 and 16 are chosen from throughout the state to serve for one week in the Legislative Page Program. Page duties are varied, ranging from ceremonial tasks, such as presenting the flags, to operational chores like distributing amendments during legislative sessions. Pages often live with host families in Olympia, some of whom charge between $100 to $175 for the weekly stay.

Gina saw there are young people across the state who do not have the resources to come to the Capitol and experience this wonderful educational program. So she was working on the concept of a scholarship fund up until she suddenly passed away,” said Hayes. “Under my legislation, it wouldn’t involve taxpayer dollars or money from the state budget. Instead, the bill creates a scholarship fund that could receive private donations to support the page program and assistance for associated housing costs.”

Hayes said anyone could donate to the fund — legislators, families, even other pages or former pages.

“There are a number of legislators whose first experience with the Legislature was when they served as pages in their teenage years. The page program really sparks the enthusiasm of public service — something Gina was known for,” added Hayes. “I think this legislation is an appropriate way to support our legislative page program, expand the opportunity for youth to participate, and in the process, memorialize Gina’s commitment to our young people.”

The measure has been referred to the State Government Committee for consideration.

PHOTO: Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island, submits a bill to the state Code Reviser’s office that would create the Gina Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Fund. The scholarship program, which would provide assistance for needy youth who would like to participate in the legislative page program, would be named after Gina Bull, former House page director and Oak Harbor resident who died suddenly in October from a cerebral hemorrhage. Photo courtesy of the Washington State House of Representatives.

For more information about Rep. Hayes, visit: www.representativedavehayes.com.


Washington State House Republican Communications