As chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, Lisa Brown led the development of WSU’s rapidly growing, world-class center for health sciences education and research. Her efforts contributed to the successful accreditation and creation of a second public medical school in the state of Washington, expanding health care where it's needed most across Eastern Washington. After serving two terms in the state House of Representatives (1992-1996), she was elected to the Senate in 1996 and was appointed chair of the Ways and Means Committee in her first term. She was elected as minority leader in 2002 and, in 2005, became the first Democratic woman in the state to hold the position of Senate majority leader.As Senate majority leader, Lisa spearheaded a variety of health-related initiatives. She led the creation of the state's Mental Health Parity Act of 2005, which improved the insurance coverage of mental health services for Washington residents. Among her successes was the expansion of children's health care and passage of the legislation to create the nonprofit Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation. During Lisa’s tenure as Senate majority leader, legislative logjams lasting for decades were broken, resulting in the passage of several pieces of landmark legislation, including the simple majority for school tax levies constitutional amendment and marriage equality.
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