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Inside Olympia – OSPI Chris Reykdal, Senator Sam Hunt

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This week on Inside Olympia, an update on the state of schools, student well being and school funding from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. Plus, after nearly a quarter century in the Legislature, State Senator Sam Hunt is retiring. We ask him to reflect on his career.

At the end of the 2024 legislative session in March, Reykdal released a statement crediting the Legislature for making major investments in school construction, special education and student mental health. In another statement released early in April, he points to the 2023 Healthy Youth Survey, which he said shows that earlier investments in student well-being have resulted in improved health and academic success.

“Let ‘er buck!” That’s how State Senator Sam Hunt ended a letter to his legislative colleagues about his decision to step down from his seat after 24 years as a state lawmaker. “I have been riding that bucking bronco as a Washington state legislator and have managed to stay on that bronco through 10 elections and nearly 24 years. However, the time has come to let somebody else face the challenge…”

Hunt has been heavily involved in elections legislation, as chair of the House and Senate committees that deal with those issues. He counts as his proudest accomplishment the establishment of the state’s vote-by-mail system. Reflections on that and other election/voting bills, plus other moments from his years of service in the Legislature.